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 femmes fatales (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


enchantress, seductress, siren, temptress

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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

The 1996 neo-noir follows two women — femme fatale Violet (Jennifer Tilly) and ex-con Corky (Gina Gershon) — who fall in love and team up to steal $2 million from Violet’s mobster boyfriend, Caesar (Joe Pantoliano). Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "The Wachowskis were offered a bigger budget to make Bound a heterosexual love story," 7 June 2019 The actress revealed a set of super short blunt bangs to accompany her oh so femme fatale look last night at the premiere of her film Long Shot in New York. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Charlize Theron Debuts a Radical New Short Cut on the Red Carpet," 1 May 2019 Maluma's bad-boy charm meets J.Lo's femme fatale is bound to make for something special. Marjua Estevez, Billboard, "Marc Anthony & Luis Miguel Link in the Studio? 7 Other Fire Collabos That Could Be Legendary," 3 Jan. 2018 From there, the exhibition’s subsequent sections are dedicated to femmes fatales, Mugler’s collaborations with Helmut Newton, and his galaxy of celebrity dressing from David Bowie to Lady Gaga. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "Is This Exhibit the Reason Kim Kardashian West Is Wearing Vintage Mugler? A First Look Inside Thierry Mugler: Couturissime," 26 Feb. 2019 Case in point: the actress and producer arrived to the Oscars this evening with a radically bold bob and a new brunette hair color worthy of a femme fatale. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Charlize Theron Reveals a Femme Fatale Makeover at the Oscars," 25 Feb. 2019 Jolie was spotted shopping for her family at the supermarket while channeling a film noir femme fatale in a slick melange of head-to-toe black. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Angelina Jolie Might Be the Chicest Supermarket Shopper Ever," 21 Mar. 2018 By trading a barely-there lip for a splashy take on femme fatale, a hue equally at home when worn near crystalline waters or on the Champs-Élysées. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "How This Model Took Chanel’s Runway Makeup Straight to the Paris Street," 2 Oct. 2018 In John Doyle’s revival, Anika Noni Rose stars as a femme fatale with David Aron Damane and Clifton Duncan as the other points in this love triangle. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "11 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 21 June 2018

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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Statistics for femme fatale

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for femme fatale

The first known use of femme fatale was in 1879

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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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Comments on femme fatale

What made you want to look up femme fatale? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing courage and determination

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