1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Epicene

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EPICENE (from the Gr. ἐπίκοινος, common), a term in Greek and Latin grammar denoting nouns which, possessing but one gender, are used to describe animals of either sex. In English grammar there are no true epicene nouns, but the term is sometimes used instead of common gender. In figurative and literary language, epicene is an adjective applied to persons having the characteristics of both sexes, and hence is occasionally used as a synonym of “effeminate.”