sex·​u·​al·​ize | \ ˈsek-sh(ə-)wə-ˌlīz, 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

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 Is there a way that women can own their sexuality without being sexualized? Belinda Luscombe, Time, "Rose McGowan on Her 'Brave' New Book and Surviving the 'Cult of Hollywood'," 1 Feb. 2018 As pointed out in a 2015 Ravishly op-ed, redheads have been hyper-sexualized for centuries. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Taylor Swift Debuts Red Hair Color in "Babe" Sugarland Music Video," 7 June 2018 Of course, Hollywood is not innocent of this blatant sexism—minority actresses are often underpaid, and Latina actresses in particular are hyper-sexualized. Megan Ditrolio, Marie Claire, "America Ferrera Is DONE being Put in a Box," 22 May 2018 Women are sexualized and objectified, and their male colleagues take them less seriously at work. Elizabeth Drew, New Republic, "Capital Offenses," 8 Feb. 2018 Glow was heading in a similar direction by interrogating the way the entertainment industry sexualizes women and typecasts people of color. Judy Berman, Time, "Glow Fades But Stays Fun in Its Second Season," 21 June 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

14 Jan 2019

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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 \
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 \ noun

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sexualize

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someone who never drinks alcohol

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