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[trans-ves-tiz-uh m, tranz-] /trænsˈvɛs tɪz əm, trænz-/
the practice, especially of men, of wearing clothing usually associated with the opposite sex for psychological gratification.
Also, transvestitism
[trans-ves-ti-tiz-uh m, tranz-] /trænsˈvɛs tɪˌtɪz əm, trænz-/ (Show IPA)
1925-30; < German Transvestismus < Latin trāns- trans- + vest(īre) to clothe + German -ismus -ism
Related forms
transvestic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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transvestitism in Medicine

transvestism trans·ves·tism (trāns-věs'tĭz'əm, trānz-) or trans·ves·ti·tism (-tĭ-tĭz'əm)
Dressing or masquerading in the clothes of the opposite sex.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for transvestitism


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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