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The phrase "bedroom eyes" came up in another question, and the person who used it remarked that to him/her it meant that, from a physical standpoint "that means they've got dilated pupils".

This didn't mesh with what I remembered hearing, which was that the eyes were semi-lidded.

Dictionary.com mentions nothing about either. UrbanDictionary, for whatever that's worth, mentions semi-lidded eyes a couple times, but not as the highest rated answers.

Is there any specific physical implication to having "bedroom eyes"?

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  • Is this an American term "Bedroom eyes"? In the Uk we say "Come to bed eyes" similar..
    – user24003
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 21:39

3 Answers 3

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Dilated pupils or heavy lids are not a part of the definition of “bedroom eyes”. More generally, there is no one specific physical aspect that is essential to he meaning of the expression “bedroom eyes”. Any “way of looking at someone that shows you are sexually attracted to them” (Macmillan Dictionary) can be called “bedroom eyes”.

Marilyn Monroe’s famous “bedroom eyes”
Marilyn Monroe’s famous “bedroom eyes”

This is not to say that dilated pupils cannot be “bedroom eyes”. In fact they can, and for good reason: one cause of dilated pupils is sexual arousal. See Wikipedia’s article on the subject, “Mydriasis”, under the subsection titled “Effects”. In scientific studies, subjects rate images of people with dilated pupils as more attractive.

dilated pupils

(Image from the article “Eye Signals”, published in Westside Toastmasters, For Public Speaking and Leadership Education.)

A tea made from the poisonous plant Atropa belladonna has been used by countless women to dilate their pupils or “darken the eyes”. Hence the name of the plant, bella donna, Italian for “beautiful woman”.

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  • You should add in the look that Nala gives Simba in the Lion King haha
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 0:58
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I am Italian and I was always told that "bedroom eyes" was a common Italian phrase (in the old days)that was said to mean a seductive beauty in the look of a woman's eyes. An Italian woman with "bedroom eyes" is said to be able to seduce a man with a simple look, due to the enchanting beauty and look of seduction in her eyes.

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  • Hi Trina, welcome to EL&U. You may not be aware that we're a bit different from other Q&A sites: rather than being a forum for personal opinion, we seek authoritative answers supported by evidence (preferably a hyperlinked reference). Your personal experience of what the phrase means to you as an Italian woman has very limited application across the broader English-speaking world, and the most upvoted answer already explains the phrase's connection to sexual attraction. You might like to read How to Answer for guidance on future posts. :-) Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 1:35
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I always knew "bedroom eyes" as meaning the look of a woman's eyes when she attempts to open them during climax.

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    Please add a source to support your answer.
    – JJJ
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 1:20

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