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

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Amazon Prime In pop culture, sexualized priests are usually campy punchlines to bawdy jokes. Dana Schwartz, Marie Claire, "The Hot Priest In 'Fleabag' Makes Me Weak at the Knees," 17 May 2019 Many have suggested that men invented heels to sexualize women and hold us back. Chloe Malle, WSJ, "Why Smart, Chic Women Are Abandoning High Heels (Forever)," 8 Nov. 2018 Although the cultural appropriation debate has been raging for years, some of the most egregious cases continue, such as the Halloween costumes that sexualize Native American women. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "The cultural appropriation debate has changed. But is it for the better?," 18 Dec. 2018 Although vile, the issue here is not solely about sexualizing, projecting and critiquing the desirability of a five-month-old baby, but the perpetuation of colorism. Yaminah Mayo, Glamour, "Khloé Kardashian Shouldn't Have to 'Block Out' Racist Remarks About True," 20 Sep. 2018 There is a history of black women because of their bodies being sexualized and that’s what appears to be happening to me. Julie Mazziotta,, "College Student Suing Former Volleyball Coach Who Kicked Her Off Team for 'Seductive' Photos," 27 Mar. 2018 Femme-enfant is a common term applied to women in his work—part childlike guide to the world of dreams, part hyper-sexualized being. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Dior Introduces Slogan Couture at Its Spring 2018 Show," 22 Jan. 2018 Horror films have always been inspired by current social anxieties, and Teeth is one of the most striking responses to a generation of women who were sexualized early in life, but only gradually came to terms with their own desires. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The new horror film canon (and where to stream it)," 1 Nov. 2018 In sum, she is degraded, abused, and humiliated in ways that are insistently and tactlessly sexualized. Gary Thompson,, "'Red Sparrow': Jennifer Lawrence's Russian spy thriller lays egg," 28 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for sexualize

Last Updated

3 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for sexualize

The first known use of sexualize was in 1839

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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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