American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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FEM'ININE, adjective [Latin femininus, from femina, woman. The first syllable may be and probably is from wemb or womb, by the use of f for w; the b not being radical. The last part of the word is probably from man, quasi, femman, womb-man.]

1. Pertaining to a woman, or to women, or to females; as the female sex.

2. soft; tender; delicate.

Her heavenly form angelic, but more soft and feminine

3. Effeminate; destitute of manly qualities.

4. In grammar, denoting the gender or words which signify females, or the terminations of such words. words are said to be of the feminine gender, when they denote females, or have the terminations proper to express females in any given language. Thus in Latin dominus, a lord, is masculine; but domina, is mistress, a female.

Milton uses feminine as a noun, for female.