“Having characteristics that are traditionally thought to be typical of or suitable for a woman.”

Cambridge Dictionary

Having qualities or an appearance traditionally associated with women, especially delicacy and prettiness.”

Oxford Dictionary

“Adjective. Womanly, pretty, soft, gentle, tender, modest, delicate, graceful, girlie, girlish, ladylike.”


The embodiment or conception of a timeless or idealized feminine nature.”

Webster’s Dictionary

“Feminine means ‘What pertains to a woman.’ There are no qualifications. Whatever a woman does is feminine, because they are a woman, and they are doing something that pertains to them.”

The only thing that can really be called ‘feminine’ are ovaries.

The Urban Dictionary


NOTE ALSO the common use of the word ‘girls’ to refer to women (see ‘Talking about Talking: Perpetuating bias in our culture,’ Women’s eNews, July 2, 2019).