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)

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Middle English sexe, from Middle French sexe ‎(genitals; gender; sexuality; sexual intercourse), from Latin sexus ‎(gender; gender traits; males or females; genitals) of uncertain etymology. Sometimes connected with Latin secō, secāre ‎(divide, cut), with the idea of division of the species.

Usage for women specifically follows Middle French le sexe ‎(women) (attested in 1580).

Usage for third and additional sexes follows 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.

Use 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.
  2. (countable) Another category, especially of humans and especially based on sexuality or gender roles.
    • 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, Lord Byron, Don Juan, Canto V, Stanza xxvi, line 148:
      A black old neutral personage
      Of the third sex stept up.
  3. (countable) The members of such a category, taken collectively.
    • 1671, John Milton, Samson Agonistes, 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.
    1. (obsolete or literary, uncountable, with 'the') Women; the human female sex.
      • 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.
      • 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.
    2. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) (obsolete, rare, uncountable) A woman.
      • 1700, John Dryden translating Boccaccio, Fables Ancient & Modern, "Cymon & Iphigenia", 554:
        She hugg'd th' Offender, and forgave th' Offence, Sex to the last.
  4. (uncountable) The distinction and relation between these categories, especially in humans; gender.
    • 2005 November 11, Guardian, 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. (uncountable) Sexual activity, usually sexual intercourse unless preceded by a modifier.
    • 1900, H.G. Wells, Love & Mr. Lewisham, xvii, 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, 57:
      If you want to have sex, you've got to trust
      At the core of your heart, the other creature.
    • 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.
  6. (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, 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 of New York, 2:
      And he put in a fake sex (penis) because he wanted to make the scene more real, more rude.
Usage notes
  • Since the 1960s, it is increasingly common—particularly in academic contexts—to distinguish between sex and gender, the former being taken as inherent biological distinctions and the latter as constructed social and cultural ones. See Wikipedia's article on the Sex and gender distinction.
Synonyms
Hypernyms
Hyponyms
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.
See also
References
  • Oxford English Dictionary, "sex, n.1", 2008.

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, 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.
  2. (chiefly US, colloquial, intransitive) To have sex with.
    • 1921 August 20, Kenneth Burke, letter to Malcolm Cowley:
      Our baby is eighteen months old now, and cries when we sex.
Derived terms
Translations
References
  • Oxford English Dictionary, "sex, v.", 2008.

Etymology 2

From sect

Noun

sex ‎(plural sexes)

  1. (obsolete) Alternative form of sect.
References
  • Oxford English Dictionary, "sex, n.2", 2008.

Czech

Pronunciation

Noun

sex m

  1. sex (sexual intercourse)

Related terms


Danish

Etymology

From English sex.

Pronunciation

Noun

sex c

  1. (uncountable) Sexual intercourse, sex.

Derived terms

Related terms


Dutch

Etymology

From English sex.

Noun

sex m ‎(uncountable)

  1. (proscribed) Alternative form 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

From Old Norse sex.

Pronunciation

Numeral

sex ‎(cardinal, indeclinable)

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

Derived 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 ‎(héx), 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

edit

See also

References

  • sex in Charlton T. Lewis & 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 Geir T. Zoëga (1910) A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • sex in William Smith., editor (1854, 1857) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, volume 1 & 2, London: Walton and Maberly

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 Frisian

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

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *sehs.

Numeral

sex

  1. (cardinal) six.

Descendants

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

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 ‎(héx).

Numeral

sex

  1. six

Descendants

  • Norwegian: seks (Bokmål), seks (Nynorsk)
  • Swedish: sex

References

  • sex in Charlton T. Lewis & 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 Geir T. Zoëga (1910) A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • sex in William Smith., editor (1854, 1857) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, volume 1 & 2, London: Walton and Maberly

Romanian

Etymology

Borrowing from Latin sexus.

Noun

sex n ‎(plural sexe or sexuri)

  1. gender, sex
  2. sex, sexual intercourse

Declension

Derived terms


Slovak

Etymology

From English sex, from Latin sexus.

Noun

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

  1. sex (intercourse, sexual activity)

Declension

Derived terms

References

  • sex in Slovak dictionaries at korpus.sk

Swedish

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Old Swedish sæx, siæx, 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)