unsex

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

un- +‎ sex

Verb[edit]

unsex (third-person singular simple present unsexes, present participle unsexing, simple past and past participle unsexed)

  1. To deprive of sexual attributes or characteristics.
    • 1603-06, William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act I, Scene V:
      Lady Macbeth: "Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts! unsex me here, / And fill me from the crown to the toe full / Of direst cruelty:"
    • c. 1920-25 [458 BC], G. M. Cookson (translator), Agamemnon, translation of original by Aeschylus:
      The Sea-king, Ravisher of Ilium / Knows not her false and slavering tongue, thrust out, / Lewd bitch, to lick and fawn and smile and be / The secret soul of unforgiving hell! / Dare it, She-devil! Unsex thyself, and be His murderess!
    • 1935 April, William Faulkner, “Skirmish at Sartoris”, in The Unvanquished, New York, N.Y.: Random House, published 1938, OCLC 1080149991; republished in The Unvanquished: The Corrected Text, New York, N.Y.: Vintage Books, October 1991, →ISBN, section 1, page 189:
      [S]he had expected the worst ever since Drusilla had deliberately tried to unsex herself by refusing to feel any natural grief at the death in battle not only of her affianced husband but of her own father [...]
  2. To sterilize (deprive of the ability to procreate); to castrate.

Anagrams[edit]