Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A castrated man, traditionally employed as a harem attendant or as a functionary in certain Asian courts.
  • noun Often Offensive A man or boy whose testes are nonfunctioning or have been removed.
  • noun Derogatory An ineffectual or powerless man.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make a eunuch of; castrate, as a man.
  • noun In the East, a chamberlain; a keeper of the bedchamber, or of the women in a large or polygamous household: an office generally (and in the latter case always) held by castrated men, and often bringing to its holders in princely houses great political influence.
  • noun Hence, in general Any castrated male of the human species.
  • Unproductive; barren.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A male of the human species castrated; commonly, one of a class of such persons, in Oriental countries, having charge of the women's apartments. Some of them, in former times, gained high official rank.
  • transitive verb To make a eunuch of; to castrate. as a man.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun also used figuratively A castrated human male.
  • noun also used figuratively A sterilized human female (cf. The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer).
  • noun Such a man employed as harem guard or in certain (mainly Eastern) monarchies (e.g. late Roman and Chinese Empires) as court or state officials.

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

  • noun a man who has been castrated and is incapable of reproduction

Etymologies

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

[Middle English eunuk, from Latin eunūchus, from Greek eunoukhos : eunē, bed + -okhos, keeping (from ekhein, to keep; see segh- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowed from Latin eunuchus, originally from Ancient Greek εὐνοῦχος (eunoukhos), from εὐνή (eunē, "bed") + ἔχω (ekhō, "I have, keep"). Originally probably used to refer to a bed chamber attendant.

Examples

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  • According to mythic martial arts films of the early 90s, they're evil, immaculately turned out, and extremely likely to take over your empire/wife.

    April 15, 2009