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Multiple SensesEdit

  • I cleaned up the merging of the various senses, but this word is confused enough in popular usage that I think the multiple senses should be explicitly listed. Nicoleta
  • I'm going to put back up the multiple senses until we can get more discussion. Proposed merged definition: "Pertaining to someone whose gender identity or expression is not aligned with their biological sex; sometimes used as a general, inclusive term, and sometimes as synonymous with or opposed to more specific terms such as transsexual, crossdresser, etc." Nicoleta
You may put them up, but all Wiktionary definitions are supposed to be attestable. If something isn't challenged, there may not be any attestation shown: it is time consuming to attest a definition. Rarely, colloquial terms may be deemed "in widespread use" by acclamation. Otherwise, a challenged sense needs attestation. We are not inherently interested in making distinctions that are not attestable. Wordy definitions are extremely hard to attest. I strongly recommend making sure that you start with one or two senses and find quotations that show them in use. It is amazing what one can learn by attesting. DCDuring TALK 20:27, 22 April 2010 (UTC)


Translations are under the adjectival definition, but seem to be nominal? Can we split these up under adjectives vs. nouns? The Ido translation I put in is adjectival; the noun is transgenro. Nicoleta

English doesn't always make that distinction. Quite often, English adjectives are used as if they were nouns, so we tend not to create separate sections as a noun for these unless there is a demonstrated pattern of use as a noun. For example, "the poor", "send me your poor", etc., are common usage so poor will also get a Noun section. We otherwise do not do this, since practically any English descriptive adjective can be used as if it were a noun. Also, please note that new talk sections are generally added at the bottom of the talk page, rather than the top. People may not spot your comments if you create new sections at the top instead. --EncycloPetey 03:36, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Euphemistic UsageEdit

Is "euphemism" the proper term to describe using "transgender" in lieue of "transsexual"? Transsexualism in and of itself isn't something that necesarily should be or needs to be euphemized, it's society's cultural stigma on the "-sexual" suffix that makes the word sometimes avoided (as well as its association with the psycho-medical community), same as the usage of "gay/lesbian" as opposed to "homosexual." Is there a better word to use besides "euphemism" to describe this sense? "Euphemism" I feel puts too negative a context on "transsexual." Nicoleta


Definition mergesEdit

I agree that there aren't five definitions, but maybe there are two. Can transgender refer to someone who has had a sex change operation, but also to someone who hasn't? That might count as two definitions. Mglovesfun (talk) 06:28, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

  • The term was coined in an attempt to describe both of those things and more -- basically anyone with a "non-cisgendered" identity. But various groups have sought to restrict the meaning in various specific ways, and I don't think it's helpful or even possible to unpick them all. Ƿidsiþ 06:35, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
As with many words like this, it is very difficult to find true adjective citations that could not be read as attributive use of a noun. There are not very many citations for this word following "become" or "seem", used comparatively or superlatively, or graded (as modified by "too" or "very". Examples showing use as a predicate after a form of "be" requires a great deal of care and are likely to be debatable. It is difficult to establish for sure that this is a true adjective at all, rather than attributive use of a noun, however awkward the wording of the noun senses might be.
Perhaps we should also see what citations can be found that unambiguously exhibit true nominal use: use following determiners and/or articles without a following noun, plurals, etc. Starting with the grammar will keep us in dictionary rather than encyclopedic territory. DCDuring TALK 11:27, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
The 1992 quote and the 2010 Guardian cite both seem unambiguously adjectival to me. Ƿidsiþ 15:36, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

RFV discussionEdit

This entry has survived Wiktionary's verification process.

Please do not re-nominate for verification without comprehensive reasons for doing so.

Adjective. The usual wordy encyclopedic definitions that seem to heavily overlap the noun definitions. We need cites to show that this is an adjective for each of the five senses claimed to be adjectives. It is likely that at least some senses are only attributive use of the noun. Also, the senses are wordy/encyclopedic and therefore it is almost impossible to confirm that all aspects of given definition are invoked in a given quotation. DCDuring TALK 09:45, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Isn't a word that's used attributively to modify a noun, an adjective by definition? Or am I missing something here? —CodeCat 14:57, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
See [[Wiktionary:English adjectives]].​—msh210 15:29, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
  • I merged all the defs: DC is right, that kind of desire to pick out shades of desired meaning cannot be supported by citations. Ƿidsiþ 06:26, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
I have added a citation showing unambiguously adjectival use. One of the citations (1998) seems to be a mention, not a use. The 2010 NYTimes citation could be read as attributive use of a noun. DCDuring TALK 11:57, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
I consider this well and truly verified. Ƿidsiþ 14:41, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Verb form?Edit

This entry, along with transgendered and transgendering, suggest that transgender has a verb form. I know that queer terminology is rapidly evolving, and there are multiple speech communities (for instance, very young trans folks often disagree with very old trans folks on a lot of issues, because we're still in the process of figuring out how we view ourselves). But among everyone that I talk to, the verb form of these is never used, it sounds very strange and is considered incorrect.

I think the reason it sounds odd is that most trans people view themselves as being trans since birth. You can talk about the process of a trans person coming out (transition), but that's only an outward expression of an inward desire. It's really odd to say "Jill came out to her friends and transgendered at age 18". Instead you would say "Jill transitioned at age 18".

Wiktionary doesn't have a page for gayed, and the gays page doesn't mention a verb form. That's because most people view someone as being gay since birth. --Hirsutism (talk) 14:09, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

The verb transgender isn't very common, but it is attested, i.e., it has been used in books, as can been seen from google books:"transgendering". Uses seem to fall into three categories: uses by potentially well-meaning people with outdated (or now-outdated but perhaps then-current) understandings of gender,   uses like this by people with transphobic understandings of gender,   and literal uses like this one which isn't about trans people at all but is instead talking about transgendering a Cabinet by firing the men in it and hiring women. As a descriptivist dictionary, Wiktionary describes words people have actually used, even if the philosophy behind the words doesn't correspond with reality (compare berdache, feminazi), but we do try to tag the words if they're rare, or pejorative, or what have you. For now I've just tagged it as "uncommon". Some of the uses are clearly not pejorative (e.g. the one about the Cabinet), but others (e.g. Jeffreys') could be read as pejorative; do you think the verb should be tagged as "sometimes pejorative" or "sometimes offensive"? I'm not sure... - -sche (discuss) 03:33, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
I might say it's proscribed/disputed. There are some more recognized sources saying this now: [1] [2], though many are talking about the adjective form than the verb form. --Hirsutism (talk) 16:52, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
It seems to me that the references are only discussing transgendered (as in "he's a transgendered person" or "they're transgendereds"), and not transgender (verb) per se (as in "the transgendering of the mystical voice").
I'm surprised to see that Wiktionary's entry on transgendered did not yet note how restricted its use is; I have overhauled it and added those links to the references.
transgender#Verb itself could perhaps use a "chiefly academic" label, but otherwise seems fine. It doesn't seem to be proscribed. - -sche (discuss) 01:58, 19 February 2015 (UTC)


Does anyone have any evidence for transgender being used as a comparative adjective? It seems absurd to me. Arguments about who gets to consider themselves transgender notwithstanding, you're either trans or not, no one's "more transgender" than another trans person and I'm quite certain there's no "most transgender" person, even theoretically. Unless someone brings up some evidence to the contrary, I'm going to change that to uncomparable. J0lt C0la (talk) 16:02, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for catching that. The template Wiktionary uses for adjectives adds comparative and superlative forms automatically, and they have to be suppressed in cases where they are not used. Someone may also have noticed that one of the citations (the 1992 one) below sense 2 actually uses the word gradably; that seems to be the only instance where the word is used gradably, however. I've changed it to incomparable/ungradable. - -sche (discuss) 17:15, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Transgender as a nounEdit

It's an adjective, not a noun. Adjectives don't have plural forms. Ever. Please remove the noun listing, as it was never a noun. The proper way to use transgender to indicate more than one transgender person: Transgender Men, Transgender Women, Transgender People, or Transgender Persons. Transgenders has never been acceptable or accurate. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

  • You can quite clearly see from the citation evidence that it has been used as a noun and in the plural. Whether it is ‘acceptable’ is beyond the scope of a dictionary, but you will see that it already has a usage label to that effect. Ƿidsiþ 16:42, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

The fact that was was used improperly by people who did not know any better does not make it proper, if you want to be a reputable dictionary then you do not list improper uses of a word.

Here is the defintion from a reputable dictionary used here as fair use:

transgender adjective trans·gen·der \-ˈjen-dər\ Definition of transgender

of, relating to, or being a person (as a transsexual or transvestite) who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person's sex at birth

transgenderism \-ˌi-zəm\ noun

Transgenderism has been used as a noun but transgender hasn't, and transgenders has never been grammatically acceptable as a plural. 16:52, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

We document usage. That's all. Maybe you should go back in time and tell the people who used the word this way that they were wrong. DTLHS (talk) 16:57, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

Your job is to document the correct usage, that's the purpose of a dictionary. 16:59, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

You are misinformed as to the purpose of a dictionary. However perhaps you can direct some of your criticisms to other ‘disreputable’ dictionaries that include this definition, like the OED. Ƿidsiþ 17:04, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

Here's another 2 reputable dictionaries... Again used as fair use.

transgender adjective uk /trænzˈdʒen.dər/ us /trænzˈdʒen.dɚ/ also trans, uk /trænz/ us › used to describe someone who feels that they are not the same gender (= sex) as the physical body they were born with, or who does not fit easily into being either a male or a female: a transgender woman/man trans people Society has become more understanding of people who are transgender. (Definition of transgender from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

transgender Pronunciation: /transˈjendər/ /tranzˈjendər/ (also transgendered) adjective Denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex. Compare with cisgender. a transgender activist and author the series will chronicle a group of Chicago women united by the shared experience of being transgender

Your use is incorrect and you have been told it is incorrect. I have given 3 reputable sources to back up my statement. Merriam-Webster, Cambridge University Dictionary, and the Oxford University Dictionary. Your cited references are not reputable sources.

The Allison Stone reference for transgender as a noun is actually used an adjective not a noun.

Correct the record. 17:07, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

You are doing nothing but quoting definitions of the adjective, which we already have. As explained, we base our definitions on citation evidence, and there is plenty of it for the noun. The noun sense is also found in the OED, which has the following citations:
1988 Stage 4 Aug. 12/1 Theatrical transgenders now have their own magazine which, it is a means through which drag artists can find jobs in the theatre.
1995 Times 15 Nov. (Interface section) 6/3 This assistant professor..started off life as a gifted but socially inadequate young man, became a woman and is now a ‘transgender’, occupying the middle ground between the sexes.
1999 Time Out N.Y. 10 June 31/1 The airy Chelsea outpost of this West Coast chainlet offers advice on the gamut of social, religious, emotional and economic issues for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders.
Ƿidsiþ 17:12, 2 July 2016 (UTC)


There is discussion of how the word is pronounced and which syllable(s) can be stressed at Wiktionary:Information desk/2018/March#English_transgender. - -sche (discuss) 05:36, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

Return to "transgender" page.