femme

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See also: fem

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Used in Middle English, from Old French fame et al. The modern spelling is under the influence of Middle and Modern French femme.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

femme (plural femmes)

  1. (archaic, rare) A woman, a wife, particularly in heraldry.
    • 1885, Richard Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Night 18:
      Then I turned to him and said, "O my lord, I have that to propose to thee wherein thou must not cross me; and this it is that, when we reach Baghdad, my native city, I offer thee my life as thy handmaiden in holy matrimony, and thou shalt be to me baron and I will be femme to thee."
  2. (slang, LGBT) A feminine lesbian, especially one who is attracted to masculine (butch) lesbians.

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin femina. Various spellings such as feme, fame and fenme were used in Old French.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

femme f (plural femmes)

  1. woman
    • 1868, Comte de Lautréamont, Les Chants de Maldoror
      Ta grandeur morale, image de l’infini, est immense comme la réflexion du philosophe, comme l’amour de la femme, comme la beauté divine de l’oiseau, comme les méditations du poète. Tu es plus beau que la nuit. Réponds-moi, océan, veux-tu être mon frère ?
      Your moral grandeur, image of infinity, is as vast as the philosopher's reflections, as woman's love, as the divine beauty of the bird, as the meditations of the poet. You are more beautiful than the night. Answer me, ocean, will you be my brother ?
  2. wife
    • 1880, Émile Zola, Nana
      Ce fut le soir du mariage à l'église que le comte Muffat se présenta dans la chambre de sa femme, où il n'était pas entré depuis deux ans.
      It was on the night of the wedding at the church that Count Muffat appeared in his wife's bedroom, which he had not entered for two years past.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


Middle French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin femina. Various spellings such as feme, fame and fenme were used in Old French.

Noun[edit]

femme f (plural femmes)

  1. wife
  2. woman (female adult human being)

Synonyms[edit]

Descendants[edit]


Old French[edit]

Noun[edit]

femme f (oblique plural femmes, nominative singular femme, nominative plural femmes)

  1. woman (female adult human being)