from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to the Greek poet Sappho.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or being an Aeolic verse of 11 syllables, consisting of a first part of 4 syllables, a central choriamb, and a final part of 3 syllables.
  • adj. Relating to or being a stanza of three such verses followed by a verse consisting of a dactyl followed by a spondee or trochee.
  • adj. Relating to or being an ode made up of such stanzas.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or being a verse, stanza, or poem in accentual meter composed in imitation of Sapphic quantitative verse.
  • adj. Of or relating to lesbianism.
  • n. A Sapphic meter, verse, stanza, or ode.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Relating to the Greek poetess Sappho from Lesbos or her poetry.
  • adj. Alternative capitalization of sapphic: relating to lesbianism; lesbian.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to Sappho, the Grecian poetess.
  • adj. Belonging to, or in the manner of, Sappho; -- said of a certain kind of verse reputed to have been invented by Sappho, consisting of five feet, of which the first, fourth, and fifth are trochees, the second is a spondee, and the third a dactyl.
  • n. A Sapphic verse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to Sappho, a Greek lyric poetess of Lesbos (about 600 b. c.), famed for the beauty and passionateness of her poems; in prosody, noting various meters used by the poetess Sappho. See phrases below.
  • n. A Sapphic verse: used especially of the Lesser Sapphic verse (hendecasyllabic), and, in the plural, of the Lesser Sapphic system.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. a meter used by Sappho and named after her
  • adj. of or relating to or characterized by homosexual relations between woman


From Ancient Greek Σαπφώ (Sapphō, "the Greek poet") + -ic. (Wiktionary)


  • The thing is, it actually is an inaccurate term, technically, and now it seems that "Sapphic" would be incorrect as well, given recent research.

    Always be precise in your terminology

  • "Sapphic" is an alternative word for the practice, yes.

    You may be a gay woman but you're not a Lesbian

  • In fact, it was like a "a very special Santanisode" that saw the spitfire who once declared "the only straight I am is straight-up bitch" officially embracing her Sapphic self and showcased the always-delicious Naya Rivera's ability to be all sorts of fierce, funny and believably vulnerable.

    Watercooler: In Praise of Glee's Santana

  • And we can't express how thrilling it is to see Santana inching her way out of the resident bitch role and into a Sapphic star in the making.

    Watercooler: Two of Glee's Underused Gems Got to Shine

  • Ladies on a rampage is the theme of this antic (and sometimes Sapphic) misadventure from Brooklyn filmmaker Zach Clark ("Modern Love Is Automatic").

    Watching in Another Dimension

  • Thankfully, this nonsense was offset by Paltrow's hilariously in-your-face Holly, Santana's heart-wrenching Sapphic confession to Brittany, and the Kurt-Burt chat that every gay teen should be blessed to have with a parent.

    Watercooler: Gwyneth Gets a (Slight) Rise Out of Glee

  • They are first glimpsed working late at Christine's gorgeously appointed home -- and, for a moment, you may think you're watching a Sapphic seduction, so obviously does Christine seem to be sending signals to Isabelle.

    Marshall Fine: HuffPost Review: Love Crime

  • When pressed about her sexual preference, the Mildred Pierce and True Blood star admits that she dates women and elaborates on her Sapphic etiquette: I'm more kind of like the guy when it comes to dating girls.

    Evan Rachel Wood: I Date Both Men and Women

  • In a separate but related development, sources close to Julie Burchill have strongly denied that Ms Burchill had a Sapphic fling with Ms Moir in 1983.

    Mail's Moir Calls for Man-Love Moratorium

  • Not just the actual sodomites like myself, but the Sapphic Sisterhood, the Hamite Alliance, the League of Heathens and Infidels, Atheists Anonymous, a whole panoply of progressive thinkers, aligned and unaligned, to whom your rant reads as the ethically repugnant ravings of a sociopath, given that it has so little concern for aforesaid "empathy".

    An Open Letter to John C. Wright

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