lesbian

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See also: Lesbian

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin Lesbiana, from Ancient Greek Λέσβος (Lésbos) + Latin adjective suffix -iana; by reference to Sappho of Lesbos (whence also sapphist, sapphic), known for her sentimental poems about women. This sense of the word may have been borrowed from, or influenced by, the German cognate lesbisch, where it is found in medical literature from the 1830s.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

lesbian (comparative more lesbian, superlative most lesbian)

  1. (of a woman) Homosexual, gay; preferring mostly or exclusively women as romantic or sexual partners.
    Lesbian fans of the show were rooting for Jane and Amanda to get together.
  2. (of a romantic or sexual act or relationship) Between two or more women; homosexual, gay.
    • 1855 [1854], Charles Hempel, transl., Homœopathic guide in all diseases of the Urinary and Sexual Organs, Philadelphia: Rademacher & Sheek, translation of Der homöopathische Rathgeber: in allen Krankheiten der Geschlechts- und Harnwerkzeuge by Wilhelm Gollmann, page 201:
      The so-termed Lesbian love is a vice of a still more hideous and degrading nature than pederasty.
    a lesbian relationship / marriage / kiss
    • 2011, Michael Bruce, Robert M. Stewart, College Sex - Philosophy for Everyone →ISBN, page 32:
      [] Madonna's infamous nationally televised lesbian kiss with Britney Spears []
  3. (especially of an institution or group) Intended for lesbians.
    We're going to a lesbian bar tonight.
    • 2000, Bonnie Zimmerman, Encyclopedia of lesbian and gay histories and cultures, volume 1, page 135:
      Some lesbians also felt comfortable in the entertainment clubs in the black section of the city; these clubs were not lesbian but were lesbian friendly.
    • 2008, Carl Abbott, How cities won the West: four centuries of urban change, page 283:
      Openly gay poets such as Allen Ginsberg were prominent among the beats, and many North Beach bars were gay and lesbian as well as bohemian.

Synonyms[edit]

  • (of a woman: preferring women partners): dyke (usually offensive, but reclaimed by some lesbians), gay (preferred by some lesbians), homosexual (not specific to women)
  • (between women; pertaining to women's homosexuality): dyke (usually offensive, but reclaimed by some lesbians), gay (preferred by some lesbians), homosexual (not specific to women)

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun[edit]

lesbian (plural lesbians)

  1. A homosexual woman, one who is mostly or exclusively sexually or romantically attracted to other women.
    • 1904, Jacobus X, Crossways of Sex: A Study in Eroto-pathology, volume 1, page 2
      There have also been women who loved other women. These are the Lesbians or Tribades.
    • 2020, Ana Patrícia Hilário, ‎Fábio Rafael Augusto, Practical and Ethical Dilemmas in Researching Sensitive Topics with Populations Considered Vulnerable (page 91)
      Another Spanish-speaking respondent said that she does not identify as a lesbian because that is a term for women who like women, and as she does not like women, and so she cannot be a lesbian.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:lesbian.
  2. (uncommon) A homosexual female animal.
    • 1979, Terry Hekker, Ever Since Adam and Eve (New York : Morrow):
      There was one recently that determined on an island off California 14 percent of the female sea gulls were lesbians (and we know that kind of thing would never go among Nantucket sea gulls).
    • 2014, George H Harrison, Birds Do It, Too: The Amazing Sex Life of Birds, Willow Creek Press (→ISBN):
      The only between this pair and others in the community is that they are among the 8 to 14 percent of the residents that are lesbians. After building their nest, the pair, two female western gulls, customarily produce twice as many eggs []

Usage notes[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Hypernyms[edit]

Hyponyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Hindi: लेस्बियन (lesbiyan)
  • Urdu: لسبین

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 lesbian”, in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933. online ("a woman [...] attracted (esp. wholly or largely) to other women")
  3. ^ lesbian” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
  4. ^ Pocket Oxford English Dictionary (→ISBN, 2013), edited by Maurice Waite, page 522
  5. ^ lesbian” in the Cambridge English Dictionary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  6. ^ lesbian” (US) / “lesbian” (UK) in Macmillan English Dictionary.

Anagrams[edit]


Interlingua[edit]

Adjective[edit]

lesbian (not comparable)

  1. lesbian

Hypernyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from French lesbien.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

lesbian m or n (feminine singular lesbiană, masculine plural lesbieni, feminine and neuter plural lesbiene)

  1. lesbian

Declension[edit]

See also[edit]