What Does Sapphic Mean? A Complete Guide

What Does Sapphic Mean?

“Sapphic” is a versatile term that extends beyond the boundaries of “lesbian” by capturing the spectrum of women who are attracted to other women, including those who identify as bisexual and pansexual. In this article, we will delve into the layered meaning of “Sapphic,” exploring its definition from different perspectives. We will also shed light on its intriguing history and portray the symbolism behind the Sapphic pride flag.

Sapphic Definition

Sapphic is an inclusive term that refers to feelings and attractions between women. This forms part of queer identity, and it is important that everyone recognize this beautiful part.

Historically, sapphic refers to the works of an Ancient Greek poet named Sappho, who wrote poetry addressing her affection and attraction towards other women at a time when being lesbian wasn’t widely accepted, although Sappho was often punished for her views.

Recent years have witnessed the increased use of sapphic to describe experiences and feelings among those attracted to other women. Its inclusive definition allows it to be applied by anyone from lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, and omnisexual identities alike, further unifying queer communities and fostering solidarity between those attracted to other women.

When asked to interpret their use of the term sapphic, most respondents (53.6%) reported understanding it as “an umbrella term for women attracted to other women”. This percentage was slightly less than those who chose nonbinary-inclusive definition (46.4%) or lesbian synonym definition (52.7%) as answers.

Although the word sapphic has become more mainstream, many still don’t understand its meaning. That shouldn’t stop you from showing respect to individuals who identify as sapphic, regardless of your understanding or lack thereof. Everyone deserves to be respected as an individual, regardless of what label they wear. If you are unfamiliar with sapphic terminology, do some research so you can understand and support those around you who may be traversing unfamiliar waters.

Origin of Sapphic

Sapphic is an adjective originating in ancient Greece and Lesbos island. The word refers to the poetess Sappho, best known for her passionate lyrical poetry about love between women. Sapphic also refers to a type of verse she created using five metrical feet – trochees, spondees, and dactyls – with which to write her work.

Sapphic has recently experienced a resurgence within queer communities, particularly among young people. It serves as an umbrella term to describe those attracted to women – including lesbians, bisexuals, pansexuals, and those identifying nonbinarily. Furthermore, the term is widely used by asexual and genderqueer communities.

Many young queer people are increasingly using the term sapphic to refer to their relationships and sexual orientation, an encouraging development that helps maintain an open and inclusive community environment. Furthermore, having this language available helps those struggling with their gender identity navigate their transition.

Allies need to understand what sapphic means and how it applies to their friends and loved ones without placing the burden of understanding on those using the label; instead, they should respect those who choose to live as sapphics while supporting them on their journey.

Recent Them survey respondents mostly interpreted “saphic” as an umbrella term encompassing all women who are attracted to other women; three times more often than they interpreted its definition as a synonym for lesbian. Unfortunately, most respondents did not view sapphic positively, and more work needs to be done to improve its perception.

Sapphic Meaning

Sapphic refers to anyone who identifies as female and has romantic feelings for other women, whether or not they identify with LGBTQIA+ identities such as lesbians. Sapphic can refer to lesbians, bisexuals, pansexuals, and trans femmes; it can even describe cis women attracted to other women. While lesbian is commonly used as an umbrella term for all queer women; sapphic refers more directly to romantic attraction rather than sexual orientation – historically connected with lesbian identity but now focused more closely on nonbinary identities than its predecessor.

The term sapphic derives its name from Sappho, an ancient Greek poet who wrote of her passion for other women on Lesbos (where it originated), where the term lesbian first surfaced. Nowadays, sapphic has become an accepted way for LGBTQIA+ people to describe relationships between female partners; poetry or movies often utilize this label too! For younger queers feeling marginalized by traditional definitions of lesbian love and relationships.

A sapphic flag is an iconic symbol of pride for the LGBTQIA+ community, featuring two pink stripes and one lavender stripe adorned with two violet flowers, representing the affection those women would give each other to symbolize their affection. Tik Tok users have popularized this flag and it serves as a reminder to celebrate both love and diversity among our community; supporting it, but respecting everyone regardless of gender or sexual orientation.


Sapphic is an emerging term within LGBTQ culture. Designed as an inclusive alternative to lesbian, sapphic refers to any person who loves women, or Sappho, an ancient Greek lyric poet from Lesbos who wrote many songs about female love relationships. Furthermore, sapphic also refers to specific forms of poetry that often feature women being addressed directly within verse, known as sapphic art or literature.

Understanding the history and etymology of sapphic is essential to understanding its meaning. At first, sapphic was defined by reference to the Greek goddess Sappho, who loved other women. Later, it expanded to encompass lesbians as well as anyone who preferred women – now an umbrella term covering lesbian, bisexual, and pansexual individuals. Recently, there has been increased focus on media representation of sapphic people, which helps normalize the LGBTQ community while making queer people feel more accepted.

Sapphoc poetry was first popularized by Sappho, an ancient Greek poetess renowned for her creation of this poetic genre. Her poems often addressed women and spoke of their feelings for one another while being written in five-meter-long verse containing two trochees and one dactyl. Today, sapphic poetry continues to be performed and enjoyed.

Some individuals misinterpret what being sapphic means, thinking it merely refers to women. This is false: sapphic refers to anyone attracted to women regardless of gender or orientation; thus, it’s essential that before labeling someone sapphic, it be done so with consent from that individual first.

Sapphic vs Lesbian

As we continue to navigate the intricate sphere of identity and sexual preferences, it becomes increasingly important to delineate the subtle differences between the terms ‘Sapphic’ and ‘Lesbian’. Although initially, they may appear to overlap, a deeper look reveals distinct characteristics that highlight the dynamic evolution of LGBTQIA+ terminologies.

‘Sapphic’ encapsulates a broad range of identities. It covers all individuals who self-identify as women and feel an attraction to other women. This category includes lesbians, certainly, but it doesn’t stop there. Bisexual, pansexual, and omnisexual women, along with those who identify as non-binary and are attracted to women, also fall under this broad term. By promoting an encompassing understanding of female love and attraction, ‘Sapphic’ cultivates inclusivity and solidarity within varied queer communities.

‘Lesbian’, conversely, has a more concentrated focus. It refers to women who are solely attracted to other women, both in terms of romance and physical attraction. Unlike ‘Sapphic’, ‘lesbian’ isn’t a blanket term but specifically concentrates on a particular sexual orientation within the female community.

While the term ‘lesbian’ is widely acknowledged and carries considerable historical weight in the struggle for LGBTQIA+ rights and representation, ‘Sapphic’ is emerging as a term that envelops a broader array of identities attracted to women. The increased usage of ‘Sapphic’ can be attributed to its emphasis on romantic connections, which makes it more inclusive and acknowledges the varied forms of attraction and love that people may experience.

However, it’s crucial to respect individual label preferences. Some may find the term ‘lesbian’ resonates with them due to personal experiences or the historical legacy attached to the term. For others, ‘Sapphic’ may offer a better representation of their identity by recognizing the fluid nature of their attractions and the wide-ranging spectrum of their experiences.

The dialogue surrounding ‘Sapphic’ and ‘Lesbian’ is continually evolving in line with our expanding comprehension of sexuality and gender identity. The key aspect of this discourse is to recognize each individual’s right to choose the term that best aligns with their personal identity and experiences. It’s not about confining everyone into preset boxes but rather about cherishing the diverse and vibrant spectrum that constitutes human love and attraction.


Sapphic is an umbrella term that’s frequently used within LGBTQIA+ communities to refer to women who feel romantically and sexually attracted to other women, typically within their own gender group. While often used interchangeably with lesbian, sapphic has more inclusive connotations; additionally, the term is inspired by Sappho herself – who lived on Lesbos herself while writing poetry!

The term sapphic has become an integral part of LGBTQIA+ history in their fight against misogyny and homophobia, and their use of a sapphic flag as a symbol represents this resistance against misogyny and homophobia. The flag features two pink stripes separated by white ones with violet flowers as an image representing sapphic love as its traditional symbolism.

Recent polling indicates that sapphic was most popular among lesbian or bisexual women, though non-binary people who loved women also often used this word.

If you know someone who identifies as sapphic, it is essential that you serve as their ally by becoming more informed of their identity. Your role should not be one of judgment but instead to support them as they navigate gender and sexuality – even if this means learning more about gender and sexuality yourself! To best assist them during this journey it may help educate yourself as much as possible about both but don’t put undue strain or responsibility onto them for doing this, as this could put unnecessary pressure on them – instead focus on learning yourself while respecting their identity!