ep·​i·​cene ˈe-pə-ˌsēn How to pronounce epicene (audio)
of a noun : having but one form to indicate either sex
: having characteristics typical of the other sex
: lacking characteristics of either sex
epicene noun
ˈe-pə-ˌsē-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce epicene (audio)

Examples of epicene in a Sentence

an ancient statue of a young man of graceful, epicene beauty
Recent Examples on the Web For many men — and many women — these figures remain far more admirable than the epicene children of liberal imagination. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 3 Nov. 2021 His name is Strat, and he is played with beguiling epicene virility and lungs of steel by the willowy Andrew Polec. Ben Brantley, New York Times, 15 Aug. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'epicene.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Latin epicoenus, from Greek epikoinos, from epi- + koinos common — more at co-

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of epicene was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near epicene

Cite this Entry

“Epicene.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epicene. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!