Definitions

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

  • adj. Biology Having both female and male characteristics; hermaphroditic.
  • adj. Being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, appearance, or behavior.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Pertaining to a feature or characteristic that is not definitively of either sex.
  • adj. Possessing qualities of both sexes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Uniting both sexes in one, or having the characteristics of both; being in nature both male and female; hermaphroditic.
  • adj. Bearing both staminiferous and pistilliferous flowers in the same cluster.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having two sexes; being both male and female; of the nature of a hermaphrodite; hermaphroditical.
  • In botany: Having male and female flowers in the same inflorescence, as in some species of Carex. In mosses, having antheridia and archegonia in the same involucre.
  • In zoology, uniting the characters of both sexes; having the parts of both sexes; being of both sexes; hermaphrodite. The androgynous condition is a very common one in invertebrate animals. The two sexes may coexist at the same time in one individual, which impregnates itself, as a snail; or two such individuals may impregnate each other, as earthworms; or one individual may be male and female at different times, developing first the product of the one sex and then that of the other.
  • Having or partaking of the mental characteristics of both sexes.
  • Also androgynal.

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

  • adj. relating to or exhibiting both female and male sex organs but with a predominantly female appearance
  • adj. having both male and female characteristics

Etymologies

From Latin androgynus, hermaphrodite, from Greek androgunos : andro-, andro- + gunē, woman; see -gynous.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin androgynus ("hermaphrodite"), from Ancient Greek ἀνδρόγυνος ("eunuch"), from ἀνδρός (genitive of ἀνήρ ("man")) + γυνή ("woman") + -ous. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Peter Filichia of The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., has a feature about comedian Julia Sweeney best known as the androgynous "Pat" on "Saturday Night Live" and her one-woman stage show, "Letting Go of God," in which she talks about how she became an atheist.

    RELIGION Blog | dallasnews.com

  • (Soundbite of song from album “Empty Houses Are Lonely”) CHRISTIAN HOARD reporting: On first listen to Tom Brosseau's mostly acoustic songs, his biggest asset seems to be a voice that recalls the androgynous swoops and swoons of sensitive compatriots, like Jeff Buckley and Devendra Banhart.

    Tom Brosseau: 'Empty Houses Are Lonely'

  • In an article about basketball player Brittney Griner, she is described as androgynous, not "model-pretty," and manly - because she's tall.

    feminist blogs

  • She may be a little tall for the role, but Jane is described as androgynous, with full lips and large eyes, which Katherine has.

    Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

  • I just realized now how many times I've found myself zoning out in front of my work station while thinking of fondling BSNYC, not as a he or she, but some kind of androgynous muscular waif, a grimy enigma, as he/she unvelcros his/her dirty cycling shoes with her/his gritty fingers after experiencing a whole new world of pain after a race...

    The Indignity of Commuting by Bicycle: The Dignity of Attending a Press Conference

  • As there was nothing really new in it, well apart from saying Bill had boyish looks usually people jump on the 'androgynous' band wagon.

    The Ugly Truth About Tokio Hotel: Vanity Fair

  • Branding was at a loss to understand why until, with an unsettling lurch, it occurred to him that she had the kind of androgynous perfection of beauty only a child could possess.

    The White Ninja

  • The actress - who made her directorial debut in the new movie 'Whip It', a story about a teenager who is pushed into beauty pageants by her mother before becoming a roller derby player - doesn't like being girly and often feels quite "androgynous".

    News

  • Gordon Gano (lead singer) sounds kind of androgynous, so it creates some solidarity.

    AfterEllen.com - Because visibility matters

  • Reptilians regard themselves a perfected and superior race because of two main reasons; their physically androgynous, meaning male and female in the same body.

    Alex Jones' Prison Planet.com

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