co·​i·​tus ˈkō-ə-təs How to pronounce coitus (audio)
ˈkȯi-təs How to pronounce coitus (audio)
: physical union of male and female genitalia accompanied by rhythmic movements : sexual intercourse sense 1 compare orgasm
coital adjective
ˈkō-ə-tə-lē How to pronounce coitus (audio)

Examples of coitus in a Sentence

the act of coitus is the natural method by which conception occurs
Recent Examples on the Web On occasion, the coitus took place at the volunteers’ homes. Gretchen Reynolds, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Feb. 2023 One thing leads to another — just because returning screenwriter Reid Carolin says so — and Mike’s performance for Max ends with the two of them in bed, after an apparent act of off-camera coitus. Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2023 The males also fight each other with their weapons, often ambushing another male mid-coitus. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 19 Oct. 2012 And there is a conversation about the necessity of being flexible during bunk-bed coitus. Darren Franich,, 7 Sep. 2022 Chris Jericho had to introduce two new members of the Jericho Appreciation Society (Sammy and Tay), narrate near-coitus between Sammy and Tay, explain what a Suzuki Gun was and promote a six-man tag team match all in one promo. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, 16 June 2022 Maybe that’s the binary nature of digital thought, ones and zeroes, coitus and cuddles. Sam Lipsyte, Harper’s Magazine , 27 Apr. 2022 The intriguing gender discourse opened up by this bizarre encounter is stopped short when, mid-coitus in a cheap hotel room, news of a nearby terrorist explosion flashes across the TV screen. Guy Lodge, Variety, 10 Feb. 2022 But the distance quickly narrows and then disappears as moments of inter-guest coitus and hand-to-hand combat overrule the abstract principles of pathogen avoidance. New York Times, 27 Oct. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coitus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Latin, "meeting, encounter, act of sexual intercourse," from coi-, variant stem of coīre "to come together, meet, have sexual intercourse" + -tus, suffix of verbal action — more at coition

First Known Use

1845, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of coitus was in 1845

Dictionary Entries Near coitus

Cite this Entry

“Coitus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


co·​i·​tus ˈkō-ət-əs How to pronounce coitus (audio) kō-ˈēt- How to pronounce coitus (audio)

Medical Definition


: physical union of male and female genitalia accompanied by rhythmic movements : sexual intercourse sense 1 compare orgasm entry 1
coital adjective
coitally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on coitus

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