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definition of the word sex

by the Wiktionnary


1382, from Middle French sexe < Latin sexus (gender). Thought to be connected with Latin seco, secare (divide, cut) by the concept of division, or 'half' of the race. Akin to section. Meaning "sexual intercourse" first attested 1929 (in writings of D.H. Lawrence).




countable and uncountable; sexes

sex (countable and uncountable; plural sexes)

  1. (countable) Either of two main divisions (either male or female) into which many organisms can be placed, according to reproductive function or organs; gender.
    What sex is that hamster?
    The abnormality is found in both sexes.
  2. (uncountable) The distinguishing property, quality, or assemblage of properties by which organisms are classified as female or male on the basis of their reproductive organs and functions; the set of properties by which male is distinguished from female.
    The effect of the medication is dependent upon age, sex, and other factors.
    The researchers divided the subjects by sex.
  3. (uncountable) Sexual intercourse; the act of sexual intercourse.
    All you ever think about is sex.
    We had sex in the back seat.
  4. (euphemism) Genitalia; a penis or vagina.
  5. (dated, with the definite article) the sex. Women; womankind. Also, the fair sex, the fairer sex, the whimsical sex.


Derived terms

Definition from Wiktionary
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