femme fatale

femme fatale

[fem fuh-tal, -tahl, fey-; French fam fa-tal]
noun, plural femmes fatales [fem fuh-talz, -tahlz, fey-; French fam fa-tal] .
an irresistibly attractive woman, especially one who leads men into difficult, dangerous, or disastrous situations; siren.

< French: literally, fatal woman

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World English Dictionary
femme fatale (fam fatal, English ˈfɛm fəˈtæl, -ˈtɑːl)
n , pl femmes fatales
an alluring or seductive woman, esp one who causes men to love her to their own distress
[fatal woman]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

femme fatale
"attractive and dangerous woman," 1895, from Fr. femme fatale, attested by 1844, from Fr. femme woman, from L. femina (see feminine) + fatale (see fatal).
"Une femme fatale est une femme qui porte malheur." [Jules Claretie, "La Vie a Paris," 1896]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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