sex

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

English

The two sexes (male and female) of the vermilion flycatcher.

Alternative forms

  • sexe (rare or archaic)

Etymology

From Middle English sexe, from Old French sexe, from Latin sexus (gender). Thought to be connected with Latin seco, secare (divide, cut) by the concept of division, or 'half' of the race. Akin to section. Meaning "sexual intercourse" first attested 1929 (in writings of D.H. Lawrence).

Pronunciation

Noun

sex (countable and uncountable, plural sexes)

  1. (countable) A main division into which an organism is placed according to its reproductive functions or organs. (In most organisms, the division is into males and females; some organisms have additional sexes.)
    What sex is that hamster?
    The abnormality is found in both sexes.
    Slime molds are sometimes erroneously said to have thirteen sexes.
  2. (uncountable) The sum of the biological characteristics by which male and female and other organisms are distinguished.
    The effect of the medication is dependent upon age, sex, and other factors.
    The researchers divided the subjects by sex.
  3. (uncountable) Sexual intercourse; the act of sexual intercourse.
    All you ever think about is sex.
    We had sex in the back seat.
    1934, translation of the Qur'an (23:5) by Abdullah Yusuf Ali
    (The believers ... those ... ) who abstain from sex
  4. (euphemistic) Genitalia; a penis or vagina.
    • 1993, Catherine Coulter, The Heiress Bride (ISBN 1101214147), page 354:
      She touched his sex with her hand.
  5. (obsolete, with the definite article) Women; womankind.
    • Note on citations: None of the following actually shows that the word was used to mean "womankind".
    • 1740, Samuel Richardson, Pamela:
      ‘With all my heart,’ replied my master; ‘I have so much honour for all the sex, that I would not have the meanest person of it stand, while I sit, had I been to have made the custom.’
    • 1759, Laurence Sterne, The Life & Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, chapter 1, page 52:
    • [] unless it was with his sister-in-law, my father's wife and my mother,—my uncle Toby scarce exchanged three words with the sex in as many years []
    • 1769, William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England:
      Thus female honor, which is dearer to the sex than their lives, is left by the common law to be the sport of an abandoned calumniator.
    • 1807, John Hoole, trans. Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, XXVII ll. 1003-4:
      But how can each the boasted treasure own, / When through the sex no two chaste wives are known?
    • 1862, Wilkie Collins, No Name:
      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.

Usage notes

Synonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Descendants

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb

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

  1. (zoology) To determine the biological sex of an animal.
    It is not easy to sex lizards.
  2. (colloquial) To have sex with.
    The passionate lovers sexed each other every night.
    OK, so I'm sexin' her, right, and all I can think of is this other girl.

Translations

See also


Czech

Pronunciation

Noun

sex m

  1. sex (sexual intercourse)

Related terms


Danish

Etymology

From English sex.

Noun

sex c

  1. (uncountable) Sexual intercourse, sex.

Derived terms

Related terms


Dutch

Noun

sex m (uncountable)

  1. (proscribed) Alternative form of seks.

Usage notes

Regarding connotations in writing, certain magazines use sex instead of seks, since the correct spelling is regarded more neutral and official, and the other more exciting.


Icelandic

Etymology

From Old Norse sex.

Pronunciation

Numeral

sex (cardinal, indeclinable)

  1. six; the cardinal number after fimm (five) and before sjö (seven).

Derived terms

Related terms


Interlingua

Etymology

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

Numeral

sex

  1. six

Latin

Latin cardinal numbers
V VI VII
    Cardinal : sex
    Ordinal : sextus
    Adverbial : sexiēs
    Distributive : sēnī
Latin Wikipedia article on sex

Alternative forms

  • Symbol: VI

Etymology

From Proto-Indo-European *swéḱs. Cognates include Sanskrit षष् (ṣaṣ), Old Armenian վեց (vecʿ), Ancient Greek ἕξ (héks), and Old English siex (English six).

Pronunciation

Numeral

sex (indeclinable)

  1. (cardinal) six; 6
    • 100 BCE – 44 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


Norwegian Bokmål

Noun

sex m (definite singular sexen) (uncountable)

  1. sex (sexual intercourse)

Norwegian Nynorsk

Noun

sex m (definite singular sexen) (uncountable)

  1. sex (sexual intercourse)

Old Norse

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *sehs, whence also Old English siex (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 (vecʿ), Ancient Greek ἕξ (héks).

Numeral

sex

  1. six

Descendants


Romanian

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin sexus

Noun

sex n (plural sexe or sexuri)

  1. gender, sex

Declension

Derived terms

Noun

sex n

  1. sex, sexual relations

Slovak

Noun

sex m, declension pattern dub

  1. sex (intercourse, sexual activity)

Swedish

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

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

Numeral

sex

  1. (cardinal) six
Derived terms

See also

Etymology 2

From English sex.

Noun

sex n

  1. sex (intercourse, sexual activity)