Definition of sex noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//seks//
    ; NAmE NAmE//seks//
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  1. 1  [uncountable, countable] the state of being male or female synonym gender How can you tell what sex a fish is? a process that allows couples to choose the sex of their baby Please indicate your sex and date of birth below. sex discrimination (= the act of treating men and women differently in an unfair way) Testosterone is the male sex hormone.
  2. 2  [countable] either of the two groups that people, animals and plants are divided into according to their function of producing young a member of the opposite sex single-sex schools the battle of the sexes (= the competitive relationship that exists between men and women) see also fair sex
  3. 3  [uncountable] physical activity between two people in which they touch each other’s sexual organs, and which may include sexual intercourse It is illegal to have sex with a person under the age of 16. gay sex the sex act a sex attack a sex shop (= one selling magazines, objects, etc. that are connected with sex) sex education in schools These drugs may affect your sex drive (= your interest in sex and the ability to have it). see also safe sex, sexual intercourse
  4. 4-sexed (in adjectives) having the amount of sexual activity or desire mentioned a highly-sexed woman
  5. Word Originlate Middle English (denoting the two categories, male and female): from Old French sexe or Latin sexus.Extra examples At that age they can start becoming shy with the opposite sex. Despite his age, he still has a lot of sex appeal. Films containing explicit sex are banned. For a long time I wanted to change my sex. He had a reputation of being a sex maniac. He was arrested for sex crimes. He was convicted of having unlawful sex with an underage girl. I have had several sex partners over the years. In this zone, prostitution is legal, but sex workers must be at least 18. Movies containing scenes of explicit sex are banned. Sex is determined by chromosomal content. Sex sells, the advertisers believe. She had never had sex before. She is an advocate of abstinence-only sex education. She wants to be known as a singer rather than as a sex symbol. She’s had a sex change operation. The quiz is a battle of the sexes between a team of male students and a team of female students. The quiz is a battle of the sexes between teams of male and female students. The theory predicts sex differences in the brain. The word ‘man’ can refer to all humans, irrespective of sex. They teach that sex outside of marriage is wrong. They tend to consider women as the weaker sex in need of care and protection. This will help us meet attractive members of the opposite sex. Women are viewed as sex objects and exploited to sell products. a healthy sex life a low sex drive a single-sex school child sex abuse comprehensive sex education convicted sex offenders differences/​inequalities/​relations between the sexes discrimination on grounds of sex issues of sex equality in the office people of the same sex photos showing sex acts registered sex offenders safer sex practices same-sex couples/​partners same-sex relationships/​marriages/​weddings sex and violence in today’s liberal media sex between consenting adults sex with her husband the X and Y sex chromosomes to be attracted to the opposite sex to crack down on international sex trafficking to have a sex change ultrasound tests to determine the sex of a baby
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sex