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[ee-uh-niz-uh m] /ˈi əˌnɪz əm/
noun, Psychiatry.
the adoption of feminine mannerisms, clothing, etc., by a male.
1925-30; after the Chevalier d'Éon (died 1810), Frenchman who posed as a woman Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for eonism


(psychiatry) the adoption of female dress and behaviour by a male See also transvestite
Word Origin
C19: named after Charles Éon de Beaumont (died 1810), French transvestite
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for eonism


practice of wearing the clothes of the opposite sex (cross-dressing), generally to derive some kind of sexual pleasure. It is often mistakenly associated with homosexuality; in fact, however, transvestites may be either heterosexual or homosexual, and the practice of cross-dressing is sometimes even ridiculed among homosexuals. The transvestite must also be distinguished from the transsexual, who desires to become a functioning member of the opposite sex; most transvestites are men who comfortably fill male roles in society and are satisfied with their biological sex. Transsexuals, both male and female, are uncomfortable with their sex and are usually required to cross-dress for an extended period before they undergo surgery. That most transvestites are men is at least in part a result of the role of fashion in Western culture; in the mid-to-late 20th century Western women wearing trousers and other clothes once considered to be exclusively men's clothes are not seen as deviant.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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