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femme fatale

[fem fuh-tal, -tahl, fey-; French fam fa-tal] /ˌfɛm fəˈtæl, -ˈtɑl, feɪ-; French fam faˈtal/
noun, plural femmes fatales
[fem fuh-talz, -tahlz, fey-; French fam fa-tal] /ˌfɛm fəˈtælz, -ˈtɑlz, feɪ-; French fam faˈtal/ (Show IPA)
an irresistibly attractive woman, especially one who leads men into difficult, dangerous, or disastrous situations; siren.
Origin of femme fatale
< French: literally, fatal woman Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for femme-fatale

femme fatale

/fam fatal; English ˈfɛm fəˈtæl; -ˈtɑːl/
noun (pl) femmes fatales (fam fatal; English) (ˈfɛm fəˈtælz; -ˈtɑːlz)
an alluring or seductive woman, esp one who causes men to love her to their own distress
Word Origin
fatal woman
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for femme-fatale

femme fatale


"attractive and dangerous woman," 1895, from French femme fatale, attested by 1844, from French femme "woman," from Latin femina (see feminine) + fatale (see fatal).

Une femme fatale est une femme qui porte malheur. [Jules Claretie, "La Vie a Paris," 1896]
Earlier, such a woman might be called a Circe.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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