trans·​ves·​tite tran(t)s-ˈve-ˌstīt How to pronounce transvestite (audio)
plural transvestites
dated, often offensive
: a person who wears clothes designed for the opposite sex : a cross-dresser
An older term for crossdresser is transvestite. Crossdressers often dress only in certain situations. They do not usually identify as transgender—most identify as straight men.Laura Erickson-Schroth
transvestism noun
or less commonly transvestitism
dated, often offensive
transvestite adjective dated, often offensive

Examples of transvestite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Both pieces were inspired by rumors that Williams ended their affair upon learning Chandler was a transvestite. Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Jan. 2023 When a fairground sets up outside her window in a Southern Italian town 15-year-old Benedetta meets Armando, aka Amanda, a young transvestite who runs the carousel and sells drugs. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 13 Feb. 2022 Porter in his work always flaunts the transvestite and transsexual issues that now preoccupy woke Hollywood. Armond White, National Review, 15 Sep. 2021 Both Moore and Moxley were cast as modern-day incarnations of the late transvestite (terminology used then) and gay activist. Roxanne Robinson, Forbes, 21 June 2021 The show pulls heavily from the run of psychedelic writer Grant Morrison, such as including Danny the Street, a sentient, transvestite stretch of roadway. Trevor Fraser,, 11 Aug. 2020 More than half of those were against transvestite, transsexual and transgender women, according to the National Observatory of LGBT Hate Crimes. NBC News, 20 Mar. 2020 First, Johnson and Rivera were transvestites, not transgender (a term that appeared only later). Madeleine Kearns, National Review, 5 July 2019 In the '80s, Hunter experienced a strange career revival of sorts when the eccentric indie filmmaker John Waters cast him in a couple of projects opposite the transvestite performer Divine, and the films became cult classics. Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 July 2018 See More

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

Word History


German Transvestit, from Latin trans- + vestire to clothe — more at vest entry 2

First Known Use

1911, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of transvestite was in 1911

Dictionary Entries Near transvestite

Cite this Entry

“Transvestite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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