sex

noun
\ˈseks \

Definition of sex 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : either of the two major forms of individuals that occur in many species and that are distinguished respectively as female or male especially on the basis of their reproductive organs and structures

2 : the sum of the structural, functional, and behavioral characteristics of organisms that are involved in reproduction marked by the union of gametes and that distinguish males and females

3a : sexually motivated phenomena or behavior

b : sexual intercourse

4 : genitalia

sex

verb
sexed; sexing; sexes

Definition of sex (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to identify the sex of sex newborn chicks

2a : to increase the sexual appeal of often used with up

b : to arouse the sexual desires of

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Examples of sex in a Sentence

Noun

The form asks for your name, age, and sex. The couple didn't know what the sex of their baby would be. How do you tell the sex of a hamster? discrimination on the basis of sex Some feel men are the more aggressive sex. All he ever thinks about is sex. Her mom talked to her about sex. She doesn't like all the sex and violence in movies. He had sex with his girlfriend.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Luckily, these trisexual nematodes have options aplenty: For them, three productive partnerships are possible, and different combinations yield strikingly different ratios of sexes in offspring. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Alternatives to Heterosexual Pairings, Brought to You By Non-Human Animals," 28 June 2018 Donatella Arpaia‘s 6½-year-old son Alessandro may have been right in predicting his future siblings’ sexes — though perhaps not their names. Ana Calderone, PEOPLE.com, "Donatella Arpaia's Son Dreamed About What She Should Name Her Twins — But She Has Other Plans!," 6 July 2018 For both sexes, smoking is most common among adults between the ages of 45 and 64. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Fewer American Adults Are Smoking Than Ever Before," 19 June 2018 Adolescents of both sexes reported injuring themselves at rates above 20 percent in Idaho, Kentucky, Nevada and New Mexico. Emily Baumgaertner, New York Times, "How Many Teenage Girls Deliberately Harm Themselves? Nearly 1 in 4, Survey Finds.," 2 July 2018 Her charges are a small cohort of androgynous juveniles, who bear the immature reproductive tissues of both sexes. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Alternatives to Heterosexual Pairings, Brought to You By Non-Human Animals," 28 June 2018 Belle is the proud mother of the babies, whose sexes are unknown at this time. Cassie Armstrong, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Two stingray pups born at Brevard Zoo," 18 May 2018 Segregation of the sexes is strictly enforced in the city of Mardan, in Pakistan’s conservative Khyber Pukhtunkhwah province bordering Afghanistan, and much of Pakistan’s northwest, but traditions are slowly giving way to demand. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Inside the changing world of a Pakistani tailor," 15 June 2018 The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia follows a strict form of Wahhabi Islam that places many restrictions on women and bans the mixing of sexes at public events. Kimberly Hutcherson, CNN, "Saudi Arabia issues its first driver's licenses to women," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The classic look would often get sexed up with spit curls that lay slicked to the forehead, at the nape of the neck, or in front of the ear, thanks to the influence of Josephine Baker. Rebecca Norris, Allure, "Watch 100 Years of Iconic Short-Hair Trends in Under Four Minutes," 22 May 2018 Each walleye harvested by the tribes is measured and sexed. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Researchers document walleye decline in Wisconsin waters," 9 May 2018 What ensues is a modern-day, faintly unpleasant, sexed-up comedy of errors on both sides. Jocelyn Mcclurg, USA TODAY, "Curtis Sittenfeld has her finger on America's pulse in 10 witty, zippy short stories," 30 Apr. 2018 His aura was a regal, ethereal, sexed-up shade of purple, and his style had to match all of that pomp. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Meet the Man Who Made 3,000 Pairs of High Heels for Prince," 19 Apr. 2018 Because the star of the show, one Jean-Paul Belmondo, just totally sexes up the screen. Maura Kelly, Marie Claire, "The 10 Hottest International Male Movie Stars Evvv-ah," 28 May 2010 Monse has no interest in sexing up her personality or look for the attention of men. Sesali Bowen, refinery29.com, "On My Block's Diversity Is Anything But Basic," 20 Mar. 2018 Abbi and Ilana can be humiliated, angry, sexed-up, loving, creative and crude, all within 22 minutes. Kt Hawbaker, chicagotribune.com, "Embracing complicated characters," 26 Feb. 2018 In the meantime, our Mr. Mooney slithers into the pub, bringing the disharmonious vibe of a swinging, sexed-up London into this frozen outpost of the middle-class 1950s. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: A Criminally Enjoyable ‘Hangmen’ From Martin McDonagh," 5 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sex.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sex

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1878, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sex

Noun

Middle English, from Latin sexus

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Learn More about sex

Dictionary Entries near sex

sewround

sewster

sew up

sex

sex act

sexadecimal

sexagenarian

Statistics for sex

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sex

The first known use of sex was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for sex

sex

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sex

: the state of being male or female

: men or male animals as a group or women or female animals as a group

: physical activity in which people touch each other's bodies, kiss each other, etc. : physical activity that is related to and often includes sexual intercourse

sex

noun
\ˈseks \

Kids Definition of sex

1 : either of two divisions into which many living things can be divided according to their roles in reproduction and which consist of males or females

2 : the state of being male or female The form asks for your name, age, and sex.

3 : sexual activity

sex

noun
\ˈseks \

Medical Definition of sex 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : either of the two major forms of individuals that occur in many species and that are distinguished respectively as male or female

2 : the sum of the structural, functional, and behavioral characteristics of living things that are involved in reproduction by two interacting parents and that distinguish males and females

3a : sexually motivated phenomena or behavior

b : sexual intercourse

Medical Definition of sex (Entry 2 of 2)

: to identify the sex of techniques for sexing human embryos

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More from Merriam-Webster on sex

See words that rhyme with sex

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sex

Spanish Central: Translation of sex

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sex

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