English Dictionary

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Definitions of sex

sex (sɛks



  1. the sum of the characteristics that distinguish organisms on the basis of their reproductive function
  2. either of the two categories, male or female, into which organisms are placed on this basis
  3. short for sexual intercourse
  4. feelings or behaviour resulting from the urge to gratify the sexual instinct
  5. sexual matters in general



  1. of or concerning sexual matters   ⇒  ■ sex education,   ⇒  ■ sex hygiene
  2. based on or arising from the difference between the sexes   ⇒  ■ sex discrimination



  1. (transitive) to ascertain the sex of

Word Origin

C14: from Latin sexus; compare secāre to divide


View thesaurus entry
= facts of life, sexuality, reproduction, the birds and the bees (informal)
= lovemaking, sexual relations, copulation, the other (informal), fucking (taboo) (slang), screwing (taboo) (slang), intimacy, going to bed (with someone), shagging (British) (taboo) (slang), nookie (slang), fornication, coitus, rumpy-pumpy (slang), legover (slang), coition, rumpo (slang), cybersex

Quotations including 'sex'

  • "The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable" [attributed to Lord Chesterfield]
  • "When I hear his steps outside my door I lie down on my bed, close my eyes, open my legs, and think of England" [Lady Hillingdon]
  • "Sex is what you can get. For some people, most people, it's the most important thing they can get without being born rich or smart or stealing" [Don DeLillo
  • "Sexual intercourse beganIn nineteen sixty-three(Which was rather late for me) -Between the end of the `Chatterley' banAnd the Beatles' first LP" [Philip Larkin
  • "Continental people have sex lives; the English have hot-water bottles" [George Mikes
  • "Is sex dirty? Only if it's done right" [Woody Allen
  • "That [sex] was the most fun I ever had without laughing" [Woody Allen
  • "My mother used to say, Delia, if S-E-X ever rears its ugly head, close your eyes before you see the rest of it" [Alan Ayckbourn
  • "It doesn't matter what you do in the bedroom as long as you don't do it in the street and frighten the horses" [Mrs. Patrick Campbell]
  • "While we have sex in the mind, we truly have none in the body" [D.H. Lawrence
  • "There is more difference within the sexes than between them" [Ivy Compton-Burnett]



combining form

  1. six   ⇒  ■ sexcentennial

Word Origin

from Latin

Translations for 'sex'

  • British English: sex The sexes are the two groups, male and female, into which people and animals are divided.This movie appeals to both sexes.sɛks NOUN
  • Arabic: جِنْس
  • Brazilian Portuguese: sexo
  • Chinese: 性别
  • Croatian: spol
  • Czech: pohlaví
  • Danish: køn
  • Dutch: sekse
  • European Spanish: sexo
  • Finnish: sukupuoli
  • French: sexe
  • German: Geschlecht
  • Greek: φύλο
  • Italian: sesso
  • Japanese: 性別
  • Korean:
  • Norwegian: sex
  • Polish: płeć
  • Portuguese: sexo
  • Romanian: sex sexe
  • Russian: полсовокупность признаков, связанных с размножением
  • Spanish: sexo
  • Swedish: kön
  • Thai: เพศ
  • Turkish: cinsiyetseks
  • Ukrainian: стать
  • Vietnamese: giới tính


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