femme fatale

femme fa·​tale | \ ˌfem-fə-ˈtal How to pronounce femme fatale (audio) , ˌfam-, -ˈtäl How to pronounce femme fatale (audio) \
plural femmes fatales\ ˌfem-​fə-​ˈtal(z) How to pronounce femme fatale (audio) , ˌfam-​ , -​ˈtäl(z) \

Definition of femme fatale

1 : a seductive woman who lures men into dangerous or compromising situations
2 : a woman who attracts men by an aura of charm and mystery

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Synonyms for femme fatale


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Examples of femme fatale in a Sentence

an actress who was often cast as cynical, sexy femmes fatales
Recent Examples on the Web If this were a genuine noir, at this point the woman would be seen as the femme fatale doing in the unsuspecting protagonist—and the reader’s spine would tingle with fear and excitement. Vivian Gornick, The New York Review of Books, "Sex, Noir & Isolation," 9 Mar. 2021 After a brief encounter on the train, Alice becomes obsessed with a young screenwriter femme fatale, Sophie (Lihi Kornowski), and her haunting film that David is set to star in. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "8 TV Shows and Movies to Catch This Week, Including the Inauguration Special," 17 Jan. 2021 Does Cassie Thomas, the floral-print femme fatale played by Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman, want to die? Alison Willmore, Vulture, "The Queasy Ending of Promising Young Woman," 15 Jan. 2021 There is a ludicrous femme fatale (Phoebe Phelps), the intimate portraits of the past, much gassing on about geopolitics. Parul Sehgal, New York Times, "Martin Amis Offers the ‘Inside Story’ of His Relationships With Three Famous Writers," 20 Oct. 2020 Watch also as Gaetz tries to avoid the temptations of the evil femme fatale, A.O.C. Patrick Crooks, The New Yorker, "“The Gaetz and Gohmert Comedy Hour”," 1 Sep. 2020 People have called Lucrezia many things over the years: seductress, murderess, femme fatale of the Borgia cabal. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Lucrezia Borgia," 28 May 2020 In AJ And The Queen, the roles are a little different: Ruby is that femme fatale, and the homeless director is the young girl, AJ. Lindsay Denninger, refinery29.com, "AJ And The Queen," 10 Jan. 2020 The single is bass-heavy but sultry, the sonic equivalent of a femme fatale. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Bonnie x Clyde Redefine Their Sound on Sultry Single 'Bad Behavior': Exclusive," 26 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'femme fatale.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of femme fatale

1879, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for femme fatale

French, literally, disastrous woman

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Time Traveler for femme fatale

Time Traveler

The first known use of femme fatale was in 1879

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Statistics for femme fatale

Last Updated

21 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Femme fatale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/femme%20fatale. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for femme fatale

femme fatale


English Language Learners Definition of femme fatale

: a very attractive woman who causes trouble or unhappiness for the men who become involved with her

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