ber·​dache bər-ˈdash How to pronounce berdache (audio)
plural berdaches
dated, offensive
: an American Indian who assumes the dress, social status, and role of the opposite sex

Word History


American French, alteration of French bardache catamite, from Italian dialect (southern Italy) bardascio, from Arabic bardaj slave, from Persian bardag prisoner, from Middle Persian vartak

First Known Use

1806, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of berdache was in 1806

Dictionary Entries Near berdache

Cite this Entry

“Berdache.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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