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

  • n. A woman whose sexual orientation is to women.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or being a lesbian. See Usage Note at gay.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Homosexual; preferring female romantic or sexual partners.
  • adj. Homosexual, specifically between two women.
  • adj. Intended for lesbians.
  • n. A homosexual female, a woman who is sexually or romantically attracted to other women.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the island anciently called Lesbos, now Mitylene, in the Grecian Archipelago.
  • adj. Amatory; erotic; -- in allusion to the reputed sensuality of the Lesbian people and literature.
  • adj. homosexual; -- applied to female homosexuals.
  • n. a female homosexual.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to the island of Lesbos in the Ægean sea, which belonged in ancient times, together with the adjoining part of the coast of Asia Minor, to the district called Æolis, and was the home of a famous school of lyric poets, including Alcæus, Sappho, and others.
  • n. A native or an inhabitant of Lesbos.

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

  • n. a female homosexual
  • n. a resident of Lesbos
  • adj. of or relating to or characterized by homosexual relations between woman


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

From the putative homosexuality of Sappho, lyric poet of Lesbos.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin Lesbiana, from Ancient Greek Λέσβος (Lesbos) + Latin adjective suffix -iana; by reference to Sappho of Lesbos (whence also sapphist), known for her sentimental poems about women.


  • His uncle gave him some silver and a letter of introduction, and sent him off to visit the philosopher Pherecydes, on the nearby island of Lesbos, the island from which the term lesbian is derived.

    Euclid’s Window

  • This was a jarring moment; the word lesbian had never been used before in a presidential debate.


  • Three residents of Lesbos, the birthplace of the ancient Greek poet Sappho, whose love poems inspired the term lesbian, filed suit last month, contending that their identity was insulted by the use of the word in reference to gay women, but the court said that the word didn't define the identity of Lesbos residents, and so could be used legitimately by gay groups in Greece and abroad.

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  • A: The term "lesbian" might be on the endangered species list now, but it has always had significance for me.

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  • I think one of the most frustrating things about being a lesbian in our society is that the term lesbian is synonymous with porn. - Because visibility matters

  • All you saw was the word 'lesbian', and you ran for the hills.

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  • In the early part of this decade the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and LGBT activists at StopDrLaura. com petitioned advertisers and studio executives to make sure "Dr. Laura" Schlessinger's dangerous, homophobic rhetoric, in which she called lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people "destructive, disordered, unhealthy" and a "biological error," did not remain on television.

    Rashad Robinson: 'Dr. Laura' Is No Free Speech Victim

  • I've identified with this term lesbian for so long ..

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  • The name "lesbian" comes from the Greek island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea where in antiquity the women were said to be homosexual. - Gay OnLine Community for Entertainment and Daily News

  • VIEW FAVORITES yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'Greeks from island of Lesbos take gay group to court over use of "lesbian"'; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = 'Three homphobes from Lesbos, home of the ancient poet Sappho who praised love between women, have taken a human rights group to court for using the word lesbian in its name.

    OpEdNews - Quicklink: Greeks from island of Lesbos take gay group to court over use of "lesbian"


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