muliebrity \myoo-lee-EB-ruh-tee\ noun

: femininity


“She was one of those women who are wanting in—what is the word?—muliebrity.” — From H. G. Wells’ 1911 novel New Machiavelli

“She is a motherly figure, but altogether unlike his mother, motherly in a way that allows too for muliebrity.” — From Michael Griffith’s 2012 book Bibliophilia: A Novella and Stories

Did you know?

“Muliebrity” has been used in English to suggest the distinguishing character or qualities of a woman or of womankind since the 16th century. (Its masculine counterpart, “virility,” entered the language at about the same time.) “Muliebrity” comes from Latin “mulier,” meaning “woman,” and probably is a cognate of Latin “mollis,” meaning “soft.” “Mollis” is also the source of the English verb “mollify”—a word that implies a “softening” of hurt feelings or anger.


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