See also: sex-, SEX, Sex, and Sex.

English

 
The two sexes (male and female) of the vermilion flycatcher.
Explainer video about the physiology of sex (human intercourse)

Alternative forms

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Middle English sexe (gender), from Old French sexe (genitals; gender), from Latin sexus (gender; gender traits; males or females; genitals), from Proto-Italic *seksus, from Proto-Indo-European *séksus, from *sek- (to cut, cut off, sever), thus meaning "section, division" (into male and female).

Usage for women influenced by Middle French le sexe (women) (attested in 1580). Usage for third and additional sexes calqued from French troisième sexe, referring to masculine women in 1817 and homosexuals in 1847. First used by Lord Byron and others in English in reference to Catholic clergy. Usage for sexual intercourse first attested in 1900 (in the writings of H.G. Wells).

Noun

sex (countable and uncountable, plural sexes)

  1. (countable) A category into which sexually-reproducing organisms are divided on the basis of their reproductive roles in their species.
    The effect of the medication is dependent upon age, sex, and other factors.
    • 1918, Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution:
      The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
    • 1994, Valerie Harms, Uc Rodale Nat Aud Enviro, page 268:
      I would never have guessed [] that slime molds can have thirteen sexes.
  2. (countable) Another category, especially of humans and especially based on sexuality or gender roles.
    • 1791 (date written), Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects, London: [] J[oseph] Johnson, [], published 1792, →OCLC:
      Still there are some loop-holes out of which a man may creep, and dare to think and act for himself; but for a woman it is an herculean task, because she has difficulties peculiar to her sex to overcome, which require almost super-human powers.
    • 1817, The works of Claudian, tr. into Engl. verse by A. Hawkins, page 43:
      "But now another sex, in arms, is brought, / And, realms to guard, are eunuchs able thought!"
    • 1821 August 8, [Lord Byron], Don Juan, Cantos III, IV, and V, London: [] Thomas Davison, [], →OCLC, canto V, stanza XXVI:
      A black old neutral personage / Of the third sex stept up.
    • 1992, United States Naval Institute Proceedings, volume 118, page 23:
      I have encountered officers who believe a woman got a better assignment or somehow "got over" because of her sex.
  3. (countable) The members of such a category, taken collectively.
    • 1671, John Milton, Samson Agonistes, section 774:
      It was a weakness / In me, but incident to all our sex.
    • 1780, Jeremy Bentham, Introduction to the Principles of Morals & Legislation, vi, §35:
      The sensibility of the female sex appears [] to be greater than that of the male.
  4. (uncountable) The distinction and relation between these categories, especially in humans; gender.
    • 2005 November 11, Guardian, section 18:
      A lot of women now like men to pay for them on dates... We've dealt with the outdated view of sex underpinning this.
  5. (obsolete or literary, uncountable, with "the") Women; the human female gender and those who belong to it.
    • 1789 November 3, Arthur Young, Travels... undertaken with a view of ascertaining the cultivation... of the kingdom of France, i, 220:
      The sex of Venice are undoubtedly of a distinguished beauty.
    • c. 1840, George Nelson, Reminiscenses:
      I was not, however, better than my neighbors; the Sex had its charms for me as it had for others; But there always remained a sting, that time only wore away.
    • 1862, [William] Wilkie Collins, chapter IV, in No Name. [], volume II, London: Sampson Low, Son, & Co., [], →OCLC, 4th (Aldborough, Suffolk), page 195:
      Even the reptile temperament of Noel Vanstone warmed under the influence of the sex: he had an undeniably appreciative eye for a handsome woman, and Magdalen's grace and beauty were not thrown away on him.
  6. (uncountable) Sexual activity, usually sexual intercourse unless preceded by a modifier.
    • 1900, H. G. Wells, Love and Mr. Lewisham[1], London: Harper, page 144:
      We marry in fear and trembling, sex for a home is the woman's traffic, and the man comes to his heart's desire when his heart's desire is dead.
    • 1929, D.H. Lawrence, Pansies, section 57:
      If you want to have sex, you've got to trust / At the core of your heart, the other creature.
    • 1934, translation of the Qur'an (23:5) by Abdullah Yusuf Ali
      (The believers ... those ... ) who abstain from sex
    • 1962 June 7, The Listener, 1006/2:
      Why wasn't Bond ‘more tender’ in his love-making? Why did he just ‘have sex’ and disappear?
    • 1990, House of Cards, season 1, episode 3:
      It wouldn't work with you... Sex, I mean. You're... easy to be with. You're... you're not dangerous. You're my best friend, John. I couldn't have it on with my best friend, John. It would be embarrassing. Sorry. Honest.
  7. (countable, euphemistic or slang) Genitalia: a penis or vagina.
    • 1664, Thomas Killigrew, Princess, ii, ii:
      Another ha's gon through with the bargain... One that will find the way to her Sex, before you'le come to kissing her hand.
    • 1938, David Gascoyne, Hölderlin's Madness, section 18:
      And the black cypresses strained upwards like the sex of a hanged man.
    • 1993, Catherine Coulter, The Heiress Bride, page 354:
      She touched his sex with her hand.
    • 2003 March 2, Daily News, New York, section 2:
      And he put in a fake sex (penis) because he wanted to make the scene more real, more rude.
Usage notes
Synonyms
  • (divisions of organisms by reproductive role): gender (proscribed when referring to humans: see usage note)
  • (copulation): See also Thesaurus:copulation
Hypernyms
Hyponyms
Derived terms
Descendants
  • Dutch: seks
  • German: Sex
  • Hindi: सेक्स (seks)
Translations
See also

Verb

sex (third-person singular simple present sexes, present participle sexing, simple past and past participle sexed)

  1. (zoology, transitive) To determine the sex of (an animal).
    • 1878 January 19, Spirit of the Times, 659/2:
      If we sex the cattle, which is the only way to get at their value, we shall have... 400 cows, 200 yearling heifers.
    • 2007, Clive Roots, Domestication[2], page 75:
      The ability to sex birds invasively through laparoscopy initially solved that problem, but now it is even easier and less stressful on the birds through testing the DNA of their feathers or blood.
    • 2013, David J Patterson, Michael T. Smith, Beef Heifer Development, An Issue of Veterinary Clinics: Food Animal Practice,, Elsevier Health Sciences, →ISBN:
      Semen usually is sexed at 90% accuracy, and the sexes of calves at birth almost always are in that statistical range if averaged over []
  2. (chiefly US, colloquial, transitive) To have sex with.
    • 2006, Noire [pseudonym], Thug-A-Licious: An Urban Erotic Tale, New York, N.Y.: One World, Ballantine Books, →ISBN, page 102:
      As good as Muddah had handled me in bed, sexing her hadn't done a damn thing to take my mind off my cousin Smoove.
    • 2007, Mickey Hess, Icons of hip hop : an encyclopedia of the movement, music, and culture. 2, Greenwood Publishing Group, →ISBN, page 427:
      He shows some glimpses, but most of the released singles are about flossing, partying, and sexing women.
    • 2009, HoneyB, Single Husbands, Grand Central Publishing, →ISBN:
      Sex with Ivory had gotten better than sexing his wife. Herschel laughed with Ivory, cried with Ivory. They dreamt aloud together. Unlike Nikki, Ivory believed in him. Every man needed a woman who believed in him.
    • 2012, Janice Jones, His Woman, His Wife, His Widow, Urban Books, →ISBN:
      "Do you ever think about how you're betraying your client while you're sexing his wife?"
    • 2014, Jerrold S. Greenberg, Clint E. Bruess, Sara B. Oswalt, Exploring the Dimensions of Human Sexuality, Jones & Bartlett Publishers, →ISBN, page 731:
      Wosick-Correa, K. R., 81 Joseph, L. J. Sexy ladies sexing ladies: Women as consumers in strip clubs. Journal of Sex Research, 45, 3 (July 2008), 201-216.
    • 2014, Anya Nicole, Judgment Day, Urban Books, →ISBN:
      His body shook uncontrollably as he imagined another man sexing his wife.
    • 2015, Pimpin' Ken, The Art of Human Chess: A Study Guide to Winning, →ISBN, page 117:
      The last thing a jealous husband wants to think about is another man sexing his wife when he's dead and gone.
    • 2016, Nisa Santiago, Killer Dolls - Part 3, Melodrama Publishing, →ISBN:
      Sexing his wife anally would remind him of having sex with Baron.
    • 2019, Michael Jean Nystrom-Schut, Foundations of Philosophy: The Basics of the Balance (Volume Iil), AuthorHouse, →ISBN:
      The neighbor guy, I just came to understand, is sexing the lady across the street from him. He's got a girlfriend. She is married. While I don't think that is particularly cool, I also don't think it is any of my business either.
  3. (chiefly US, colloquial, intransitive) To have sex.
    • 1921 August 20, Kenneth Burke, letter to Malcolm Cowley:
      Our baby is eighteen months old now, and cries when we sex
Synonyms
Derived terms
Translations

Further reading

  • Oxford English Dictionary, "sex, n.1", 2008.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, "sex, v.", 2008.

Etymology 2

From sect.

Noun

sex (plural sexes)

  1. (obsolete) Alternative form of sect.

Further reading

  • Oxford English Dictionary, "sex, n.2", 2008.
  • "sex" in Raymond Williams, Keywords (revised), 1983, Fontana Press, page 283.

Anagrams

Czech

Alternative forms

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin sexus.

Pronunciation

Noun

sex m inan

  1. sex (sexual intercourse)
    Synonym: soulož

Declension

Further reading

  • sex in Kartotéka Novočeského lexikálního archivu
  • sex in Slovník spisovného jazyka českého, 1960–1971, 1989
  • sex in Internetová jazyková příručka

Danish

Etymology

From English sex.

Pronunciation

Noun

sex c

  1. (uncountable) Sexual intercourse, sex.

Derived terms

Dutch

Noun

sex m (uncountable)

  1. (proscribed) Alternative spelling of seks

Usage notes

  • Certain magazines use sex instead of seks, since the correct spelling is regarded more neutral and official, and the other more exciting.

Icelandic

Icelandic cardinal numbers
 <  5 6 7  > 
    Cardinal : sex
    Ordinal : sjötti

Etymology 1

From Old Norse sex, from Proto-Germanic *sehs.[1] Cognates include Faroese seks and Danish seks.

Pronunciation

Numeral

sex

  1. six
Derived terms

Etymology 2

Borrowed from English sex, from Middle English sexe, from Old French sexe, from Latin sexus.[1]

Pronunciation

Noun

sex n (genitive singular sex, nominative plural sex)

  1. sex, sexual intercourse
Declension

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ásgeir Blöndal MagnússonÍslensk orðsifjabók, 1st edition, 2nd printing (1989). Reykjavík, Orðabók Háskólans, page 808. (Available on Málið.is under the “Eldra mál” tab.)

Interlingua

Etymology

From Old Norse sex, from Proto-Germanic *sehs, from Proto-Indo-European *swéḱs (six).

Numeral

sex

  1. six

Latin

Latin numbers (edit)
60
 ←  5 VI
6
7  → 
    Cardinal: sex
    Ordinal: sextus
    Adverbial: sexiēs, sexiēns
    Multiplier: sexuplus, sexuplex, sextuplus, seplex
    Distributive: sēnus
    Collective: sēniō
    Fractional: sextāns
 
Latin Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia la

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Proto-Italic *seks, from Proto-Indo-European *swéḱs.

Cognates include Sanskrit षष् (ṣaṣ), Old Armenian վեց (vecʻ), Ancient Greek ἕξ (héx), and Old English six (English six).

Pronunciation

Numeral

sex (indeclinable)

  1. six; 6
    • c. 52 BCE, Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico 2.5:
      Ibi praesidium ponit et in altera parte fluminis Q.Titurium Sabinum legatum cum sex cohortibus relinquit;
      Over that river was a bridge: there he places a guard; and on the other side of the river he leaves Quintus Titurius Sabinus, his legate, with six cohorts.
    • 8 CE, Ovid, Metamorphoses 2.17–18:
      haec super inposita est caeli fulgentis imago, signaque sex foribus dextris totidemque sinistris
      Above these was placed an image of the shining sky, and six signs [of the zodiac] on the doorways to the right and the same number on the left.
    • 405 CE, Jerome, Vulgate Exodus.16.26:
      sex diebus colligite in die autem septimo sabbatum est Domino idcirco non invenietur
      Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.

Descendants

See also

References

  • sex in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • sex in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • sex in William Smith, editor (1854, 1857), A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, volume 1 & 2, London: Walton and Maberly

Lombard

Etymology

From Latin sex.

Pronunciation

Numeral

sex

  1. (Old Lombard) six

Descendants

Middle English

Etymology 1

Noun

sex

  1. sex

Etymology 2

From Old English seax.

Noun

sex

  1. Alternative form of sax

Etymology 3

From Old English sex, alternative form of six.

Numeral

sex

  1. Alternative form of six

Norwegian Bokmål

Etymology

From English sex, from Latin sexus.

Noun

sex m (definite singular sexen, uncountable)

  1. sex (sexual intercourse)

Derived terms

References

Norwegian Nynorsk

Etymology

From English sex, from Latin sexus.

Noun

sex m (definite singular sexen, uncountable)

  1. sex (sexual intercourse)

Derived terms

References

Old English

Pronunciation

Noun

sex n (Late West Saxon)

  1. Alternative form of seax (shortsword, dagger, knife)

Old Frisian

Old Frisian cardinal numbers
 <  5 6 7  > 
    Cardinal : sex

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *sehs.

Numeral

sex

  1. six.

Descendants

  • North Frisian:
    Föhr-Amrum, Mooring and Wiedingharde: seeks
    Helgoland: sös
    Sylt: soks
  • Saterland Frisian: säks
  • West Frisian: seis

Old Norse

Old Norse numbers (edit)
60[a], [b], [c]
 ←  5 6 7  → 
    Cardinal: sex
    Ordinal: sétti
    Multiplier: sexfaldr

Alternative forms

  • sjaxbroken form

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *sehs, whence also Old English six (English six), Old Frisian sex, Old Saxon sehs, Middle Dutch sesse (Dutch zes), Old High German sehs (German sechs), Gothic 𐍃𐌰𐌹𐌷𐍃 (saihs). Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *swéḱs, cognate with Sanskrit षष् (ṣaṣ), Old Armenian վեց (vecʻ), Ancient Greek ἕξ (héx).

Numeral

sex

  1. (cardinal number) six

Descendants

References

  • sex in Geir T. Zoëga (1910) A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic, Oxford: Clarendon Press

Pennsylvania German

Pennsylvania German cardinal numbers
 <  5 6 7  > 
    Cardinal : sex
    Ordinal : sext

Alternative forms

Etymology

Compare German sechs, Dutch zes, English six.

Pronunciation

Numeral

sex

  1. six

Romanian

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin sexus.

Pronunciation

Noun

sex n (plural sexe or sexuri)

  1. gender, sex
  2. sex, sexual intercourse

Usage notes

  • The common plural form is sexe; sexuri is regional.

Declension

Derived terms

Scots

Numeral

sex

  1. Alternative form of sax

References

Slovak

Etymology

Derived from English sex, from Latin sexus.

Pronunciation

Noun

sex m inan (genitive singular sexu, nominative plural sexy, genitive plural sexov, declension pattern of dub)

  1. sex (intercourse, sexual activity)

Declension

Derived terms

References

  • sex”, in Slovníkový portál Jazykovedného ústavu Ľ. Štúra SAV [Dictionary portal of the Ľ. Štúr Institute of Linguistics, Slovak Academy of Science] (in Slovak), https://slovnik.juls.savba.sk, 2024

Swedish

Swedish numbers (edit)
60
 ←  5 6 7  → 
    Cardinal: sex
    Ordinal: sjätte
    Ordinal abbreviation: 6:e
    Multiplier: sexfaldig
    Collective: halvdussin
    Fractional: sjättedel

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Inherited from Old Swedish sæx, siæx, from Old Norse sex, from Proto-Germanic *sehs, from Proto-Indo-European *swéḱs (six).

Numeral

sex

  1. six
Coordinate terms
Derived terms
See also

Etymology 2

Borrowed from English sex, from Latin sexus.

Noun

sex n (uncountable)

  1. sex (intercourse, sexual activity)
    att ha sexto have sex
Declension
Declension of sex 
Uncountable
Indefinite Definite
Nominative sex sexet
Genitive sex sexets
Synonyms
Derived terms
See also

References

Uzbek

 sex on Uzbek Wikipedia

Etymology

Borrowed from Russian цех (cex), from Polish cech, from Middle High German zëch(e); see modern German Zeche.

Noun

sex (plural sexlar)

  1. shop, section (of a factory)

Declension