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 off-the-map road trip that follows is full of madcap twists and unexpected swerves, including shock revelations about Anna's romantic past and a chaotic entanglement with a glamorous Irish femme fatale, Jewel (Sarah Bolger). Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'End of Sentence': Film Review | Edinburgh 2019," 30 June 2019 Murder, crime, seduction, private eyes, femme fatales, and ridiculous metaphors. Lisa Herendeen, The Mercury News, "S.F. Bay Area calendar: Greek festival, comedy and more," 25 Aug. 2019 Kirill Petrenko elicited a kind of crystalline menace from his orchestra; Marlis Petersen sang with disconcerting beauty and purity of tone, undermining the standard picture of the character as a demented femme fatale. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "The Endless, Grisly Fascination of Richard Strauss’s “Salome”," 21 Aug. 2019 Is the femme fatale to blame for the murder, or is she just another victim? Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "iZombie finally goes full noir — but showrunner Rob Thomas had nothing to do it," 11 July 2019 Tom Arnold is a comic delight as Harry's screwy sidekick while Tia Carrere is perfectly cast as the exotic femme fatale. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "'True Lies': THR's 1994 Review," 15 July 2019 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

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

13 Sep 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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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