sex·​u·​al·​ize | \ ˈsek-sh(ə-)wə-ˌlīz How to pronounce sexualize (audio) , ˈsek-shə-ˌlīz \
sexualized; sexualizing

Definition of sexualize

transitive verb

: to make sexual : endow with a sexual character or cast

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Examples of sexualize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Fortune was able to independently confirm that, at the time of reporting, Giphy does host sexualized images of girls appearing under the legal age of consent. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Nude Child Photos and Other ‘Toxic Content’ Are on Giphy, Shared by Private Accounts Exploiting Loopholes, Researchers Say," 15 Nov. 2019 Most of this film consists of tedious scenes of partying and violence, with much of the latter being unpleasantly sexualized. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Lili Taylor, Uzo Aduba, Omar Epps and Rob Zombie headline streaming and VOD titles," 18 Oct. 2019 The same search terms also revealed sexualized and exploitative images of children and explicit material elsewhere on the open web. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Nude Child Photos and Other ‘Toxic Content’ Are on Giphy, Shared by Private Accounts Exploiting Loopholes, Researchers Say," 15 Nov. 2019 The style itself is a jumble: baby doll meets goth-lite, both cutesy and edgy, often overtly sexualized, plus lots of eyeliner and hair usually dyed unnatural shades. Marc Bain, Quartz, "The year’s top-trending fashion styles in the US only existed online," 13 Dec. 2019 Some games entice you into playing them with loud marketing campaigns, sexualized cover art, or the promise of ludicrous over-the-top violence. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "Video: How Oddworld solved its narrative problems with mind control," 3 Dec. 2019 Country singer Kacey Musgraves sparked outrage among the Asian American community both for combining Indian and Vietnamese traditional costumes and for sexualizing the look. oregonlive, "College students are fighting cultural appropriation during Halloween," 30 Oct. 2019 Which brings me onto the final point: What has any of this got to do with sexualizing children? Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "The Origins of the Transgender Movement," 14 Oct. 2019 Sexism, of course, wasn’t vanquished from comics, and in some ways became more pronounced as the depictions of women became more explicitly sexualized. Oliver Staley, Quartz, "Storm is comics’ overlooked groundbreaking superhero," 11 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sexualize.' 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 sexualize

1839, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for sexualize

Time Traveler

The first known use of sexualize was in 1839

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Statistics for sexualize

Last Updated

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sexualize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for sexualize


transitive verb
variants: also British sexualise \ ˈseksh-​(ə-​)wə-​ˌlīz, ˈsek-​shə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce sexualise (audio) \
sexualized also British sexualised; sexualizing also British sexualising

Medical Definition of sexualize

: to make sexual : endow with a sexual character or quality

Other Words from sexualize

sexualization also British sexualisation \ ˌseksh-​(ə-​)wə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce sexualisation (audio) \ noun

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