Having or showing qualities or characteristics more often associated with females than males; unmanly: "gentle, kind, effeminate remorse" (Shakespeare).
[Middle English effeminat, from Latin effēminātus, past participle of effēmināre, to make feminine : ex-, ex- + fēmina, woman; see dhē(i)- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
ef·femi·na·cy (-nə-sē), ef·femi·nate·ness n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.