femme fatale

noun
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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Examples of femme fatale in a Sentence

an actress who was often cast as cynical, sexy femmes fatales
Recent Examples on the Web One of those disguises, which Lively shared on Instagram, is vintage femme fatale. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "The Real Reason Blake Lively's Been Wearing Long Gloves Lately," 28 Jan. 2020 After taking an extended break from public appearances following the birth of her third child with husband Ryan Reynolds in October, Lively arrived at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, looking like a femme fatale. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Blake Lively Makes a Glamorous Post-Baby Return to the Red Carpet," 28 Jan. 2020 Pair yours with tights and a short trench for a femme fatale vibe. Erin Parker, Glamour, "5 Unexpected Combat Boot Outfits You’ll Want to Copy Immediately," 12 Nov. 2019 Abigail Spencer’s take on the typical femme fatale is here to shake things up. Ruth Kinane, EW.com, "Abigail Spencer on Hulu's Reprisal and her relentless, archetype-breaking femme fatale," 5 Dec. 2019 The city’s noir is a puzzle of flawed heroes and devious interlopers: cops, private eyes, assassins, gamblers, schemers and femme fatales looking not so much for absolution as for a reckoning that will edge them through another day. Los Angeles Times, "Why L.A. is the perpetual dark heart of crime writing," 17 Oct. 2019 The scheming and cruel femme fatale, Milady de Winter, is judged guilty of the most heinous murders by an ad hoc tribunal consisting of the musketeers and her late husband’s brother. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "If you only know ‘The Three Musketeers,’ you owe yourself the pleasure of its sequel, ‘Twenty Years After’," 13 Nov. 2019 The looks were styled with tight twin braids and dark lipstick — contrasting innocence with a femme fatale touch. Colleen Barry, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fendi lets sun shine on post-Lagerfeld era, glancing back," 19 Sep. 2019 The evening’s performance, led by French tenor Roberto Alagna (the virile Samson) and Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca (Dalila—the Bible’s original femme fatale), was live-streamed from 42nd Street jumbotrons. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Patricia Clarkson, Adrien Brody, and Debbie Harry Enjoy the Metropolitan Opera’s Opening Night Gala," 25 Sep. 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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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

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Femme fatale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/femme%20fatale. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for femme fatale

femme fatale

noun
How to pronounce femme fatale (audio) How to pronounce femme fatale (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of femme fatale

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

More from Merriam-Webster on femme fatale

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for femme fatale

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with femme fatale

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