AskDefine | Define tribade

Dictionary Definition

tribade n : a female homosexual [syn: lesbian, gay woman]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Latin tribas, from Greek τριβας, from τριβειν ‘to rub’.


  • /'trɪbəd/


  1. a lesbian
    • 1977: I roused Zero’s suspicions because I began to behave too much like a woman and he started to watch me warily for signs of the tribade. If he had spied any, or surprised me fingering any of his girls, he would have shot me. — Angela Carter, The Passion of New Eve

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Tribadism or tribbing is a form of mutual masturbation, sometimes called frottage, in which a woman rubs her vulva against her partner's body for sexual stimulation. The term is most often used in the context of lesbian sex, but is not exclusive to lesbians. Tribadism sometimes involves female-to-female genital contact, but more often refers to a female rubbing her vulva against her partner's thigh, arm or stomach. Tribadism can also refer to a masturbation technique in which a woman rubs her vulva against an inanimate object such as a bolster in an effort to achieve orgasm.


Until the 20th century, the term was used to refer to lesbian sexual practices in general. Therefore, lesbians were occasionally called tribades.


Genital-genital tribadism is known by many colloquialisms such as "scissoring" - which refers to the leg movements, "bumping donuts", "clit-clatting", "clam clashing", "pussy grinding", "mashing cookies", "grinding beans", "clam jousting", "touching tacos", "taco bumping" or "bumping fur". In the Philippines, this practice is known as kiskisan.

Tribadism in popular culture

  • The glam pop band Scissor Sisters derive their name from the scissoring position.
  • Other bands named after tribadism include Scissorfight and the lesbian punk band Tribe 8.
  • Genital-genital tribadism was depicted three times during the "D-Yikes!" episode of the cartoon South Park, referred to in that episode as "scissoring"


Since genital to genital contact with possible fluidic exchange does indeed occur in tribadism, it is possible to contract a sexually transmitted disease from the practice. Thus, it should be practiced with the same regard for safety as any other sexual act where genital to genital contact occurs to avoid transmission.


tribade in Bulgarian: Трибадизъм
tribade in German: Tribadie
tribade in Spanish: Tribadismo
tribade in Persian: طبق‌زنی
tribade in Croatian: Tribadizam
tribade in Italian: Tribadismo
tribade in Lithuanian: Tribadija
tribade in Dutch: Tribadisme
tribade in Norwegian: Tribadisme
tribade in Polish: Trybadyzm
tribade in Portuguese: Tribadismo
tribade in Russian: Трибадизм
tribade in Swedish: Tribadism
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