α. ME–16 sexe, ME– sex, 15 seex.
β. 15 sext. (Show Less)
Frequency (in current use):
Origin: Of multiple origins. Partly a borrowing from French. Partly a borrowing from Latin. Etymons: French sexe; Latin sexus.
< Middle French, French sexe
the genitals (c
1200 in Old French as sex
), gender, state of being male or female (c
1230, 14th cent. as a social category, 1546 with reference to plants), sexuality, physical lovemaking, eroticism (1856) and its etymon classical Latin sexus
stem) state of being male or female, specific qualities associated with being male or female, males or females collectively, sexual organs, of uncertain origin (perhaps compare secāre
to cut (see ), though the semantic connection is unclear). Compare Old Occitan sexe
(1420), Catalan sexe
(1515), Spanish sexo
(first half of the 15th cent.), Portuguese sexo
(1572), Italian sesso
Latin had also a form secus
, neuter (indeclinable).
compare French troisième sexe
(1817 with reference to masculine women, 1847 with reference to homosexuals).
compare post-classical Latin sexus fragilis
1455 in a British source), Middle French, French sexe fragile
(1546), also sexe foible
compare French beau sexe
compare post-classical Latin sexus melior
1200 in a British source).
after Middle French, French le sexe
women, the female sex collectively (1580).
A number of compounds from various semantic fields have earlier equivalents formed with
(e.g. , , ).
Quality in respect of being male or female, or an instance of this; the state or fact of belonging to a particular sex; possession or membership of a sex.
a. the fair (also gentle, soft, weak, etc.) sex : the female sex, women. Similarly †the devout sex , †the woman sex , the second sex .In more recent use often ironical or humorous (as also in senses and ).
1536 P. Melancthon f. 24
This happenyd also..in Monasteries of women..not withstonding that the weake sexe or kynde ought more to haue ben spared.
[1583 P. Stubbes sig. Eviiv
The magnificency & liberalitie of that gentle sex.]
1652 R. Brome iii. sig. H4
I am bound by a strong vow to kisse all of the woman sex I meet this morning.
c1660 J. Evelyn anno 1644
The Pillar..at which the devout sex are always rubbing their Chaplets.
1688–9 J. Evelyn
Lovers and courters of the fair sex.
1694 N. H. Ded. sig. A2
To the Ladies, Gentlewomen, and Others, of the Fair-Sex, the Author Humbly Dedicates this following Work.
1716 Pope tr. Homer II. v. 435
The King insults the Goddess as she flies..Go, let thy own soft Sex employ thy Care.
1732 G. Berkeley I. ii. xxiv. 142
The fair Sex have now nothing to do but dress and paint.
1801 23 May 166/3
I prefer the favours of the fair sex to the company of the soakers, and so there is an end to all drinking.
1821 Byron cviii. 125
Benign ceruleans of the second sex! Who advertise new poems by your looks.
1836 W. Irving Widow's Ordeal in 257
It is somewhat remarkable that..the gentler sex should have been most frequently the subjects of these rude trials.
1838 E. Bulwer-Lytton II. iv. vi. 14
In addition to those qualities which please the softer sex, Legard was a good whist-player.
1896 J. K. Bangs vii. 86
But go along and have your ladies' day here, and never mind my reasons for preferring my own society to that of the fair sex.
1928 D. K. Parker tr. 443
Women..form the sexus sequior—the second sex.
1953 H. M. Parshley tr. S. de Beauvoir
The second sex.
1974 J. Mitchell ii. ii. 306
Woman is the archetype of the oppressed consciousness: the second sex.
1996 L. Lowndes xxxvi. 217
Another gentle habit of the gentle sex that, unfortunately, drives men stark raving berserk.
2008 26 June 44/3
The translation is sometimes old-fashioned (who now describes women as ‘the fair sex’?).
b. With comparative adjectives: the fairer (also gentler, softer, weaker, etc.) sex .
1578 T. Churchyard sig. F. iij
The weaker sexe, in beautie doth excell.
1618 R. Brathwait Good Wife sig. B6, in P. Hannay
He should dispence with lighter faults, not vex Himselfe for trifles, shee's the weaker sex.
1665 R. Boyle v. ix. sig. Ll8v
Persons of the fairer Sex.
1702 C. Beaumont
xiv. l. 213
The softer sex, attending Him And his still-growing woes.
1753 W. Hogarth x. 65
An elegant degree of plumpness peculiar to the skin of the softer sex.
1786 II. v. 116
Her voice was shrill, but melodious, she spoke with a readiness and facility upon most subjects, and possessed an understanding not very common in the softer sex.
1860 ‘G. Eliot’ I. i. vi. 76
It was rather hard on Maggie that Tom always absconded,..but the weaker sex are acknowledged to be serious impedimenta in cases of flight.
1894 C. D. Tyler in 3 479
They are beardless, and usually wear a shock of unkempt hair, which is somewhat finer in the gentler sex.
1961 ‘F. O'Brien’ v. 42
Decent people should look after women—isn't that right? The weaker sex.
1997 19 Feb. 23/1
Far from being the gentler sex, they [sc. women as bosses] are more likely to behave like dictators.
2005 8 Jan. 8/2
A distinctive Japanese style of manga cartoon for the fairer sex.
c. the sterner (also†better, †rougher, stronger) sex : the male sex, men. Now rare.
1608 Bp. J. King 27
Nature hath more enabled the stronger sexe to vndergoe this burthen.
1665 T. Herbert
Whiles the better sex seek prey abroad, the women (therein like themselves) keep home and spin.
1702 G. Miège
A Queen, whose incomparable Wisdom will ever be admired by future Ages, as..a Pattern to Princes of the better Sex.
Whatever Influence, Age, or Infirmities, may have on one, and that the rougher sex, yet the Impressions made on the other are so deep [etc.].
1782 W. Cowper Conversation in 254
Divest the rougher sex of female airs.
1819 J. Foster
It was not..thought too much for persons of the stronger sex, to go and return many miles on foot.
1822 Scott I. Introd. Ep. p. ix
I abide by the general opinion, that he is of the rougher sex.
1849 C. Brontë III. xiv. 312
‘Mama’ is rather a misanthropist, is she not? Not the best opinion of the sterner sex?
1861 May 397/2
It is perhaps from utter despair..that so many of the better sex have..perpetrated of late years so many extravagancies in that region [sc. the north].
1915 12 June 11/2
Now, through not taking a man's part, we have turned them into a weaker sex, and it is we girl-boys who are the stronger sex.
If women are to do men's work in the world, the occupations of the sterner sex must change also and become those formerly handled by women.
1997 June 29/2
If women are to do men's work in the world, the occupations of the sterner sex must change also and become those formerly handled by women.
King Parikshit and maybe King Janaka restore our faith in the sterner sex somewhat, but..the draw of the novel lies in the strength of its women.
d. the opposite sex: see .
P2. organ of sex: (usually in plural) any one of the reproductive organs in sexed animals or plants; = .
1792 tr. P. M. F. de Pagés III. xxix. 237
The general colour of the Whale is black; the under part and edges of the mouth are white,..the paps of the female, and the organs of sex, are white.
1872 6 610
On the floor of this last grotto, Senhor Penna found several urns... All the tubular vases..have the organs of sex, male or female, carefully and prominently represented.
1896 New Ser. June 826
The stamen is..as much a member or organ of sex as the root is an organ of nutrition.
1955 41 670
In these animals [sc. young opossums] the internal organs of sex were all strongly transformed.
Identifying emotionally or psychologically with the sex other than one's biological or legal sex at birth, whether or not there has been a physical change of the organs of sex.
P3. sex (and) drugs and rock 'n' roll : used to denote a hedonistic and extravagant lifestyle of a type associated with rock music and rock musicians, or with youth culture generally. Cf.
[1969 17 Oct. 77
The counter culture has its sacraments in sex, drugs and rock.]
1971 16 Oct. 556
Not for nothing is the youth culture characterized by sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.
1977 I. Dury & C. Jankel
(title of song)
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.
1978 28 May 30/6
King's College, Cambridge is ‘probably the zappiest college with quite a lot of sex, drugs and rock-and-roll’.
1986 M. Davies et al. xii. 267
Goa is seen by Indians as the place, par excellence, where hippies congregate with their sex and drugs and rock' n' roll.
17 Mar. (Life Suppl.) 4/3
Boyden's gripping debut novel follows childhood pals from their first game of truth or dare down the rabbit hole of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
P4. Chiefly Brit. sex and shopping: a genre of popular fiction featuring wealthy and glamorous characters who typically engage in frequent sexual encounters and extravagant spending, esp. on designer goods. Frequently attributive: designating (a novel of) this genre. Cf.
[1985 May 92
Jackie Collins, charming, vibrant and stunningly attractive, could serve as at least a minor character in one of her sex-and-shopping-among-the-rich-and-famous page-turners.]
1986 20 May b4/3
Sure enough, her powerful brand of S&S (sex and shopping) sold 4.6 million copies and made little Judy Tarcher an overnight success.
A researcher employed on Conran's ‘sex and shopping’ blockbuster, Lace.
1995 20 Mar. 6/4
He's not a writer because he writes the ‘other stuff’, I'm not talking about people who write sex and shopping.
2000 May 52/1
The bestselling author and creator of the ‘sex and shopping’ genre is thin as a sparrow and looks a well-preserved fifty.
Sex on the Beach n.
(also with lower-case initials)
orig. U.S. a sweet cocktail made with vodka, liqueur (usually peach schnapps), and fruit juice.
1986 23 May g8/2
‘Sex on the Beach’ shooters $1.50.
22 May (Mag. section) 18
Vodka and juices; Absolute preferred—from sex on the beach, with cranberry and pineapple juices and peach schnapps, to the Cape Cod, with cranberry juice.
2006 J. G. Hayes xvi. 213
She'd only had two and a half Sex on the Beaches but she could never hold her booze when she was dieting.
P6. colloq. (chiefly Brit. and Austral.). sex on legs: extremely sexy or sexually desirable. Chiefly as predicate.
1988 28 Mar. (Gold TV Guide Suppl.) 16/3
Those searching for something beyond his ‘sex-on-legs’ persona were rewarded.
27 Apr. 29
Female friends say he's sex on legs.
2002 M. Gayle 351
You have to believe you're sex on legs. It's a survival mechanism.
, with sense ‘of, relating to, or characterized by sex, involving sex’ (chiefly in senses
and ).Many of the compounds listed here are paralleled by uses of sexual: see
1898 C. P. Stetson iii. 44
Woman..has developed in the lines of action to which she was confined; and those were always lines of sex-activity.
1949 M. Mead x. 208
The burden of choosing between sex activity and other activities has been taken off the individual.
15 Aug. e1
Longueuil police have been sending four undercover police officers into the park..to clear out daytime sex activities.
1927 19 Nov. 16
Sex-addicts who advertise.
1965 1 Feb. 14/2
They play up the thrill seekers and the sex addicts.
2003 Dec. 112/1
John is a diagnosed sex addict... John..has had 24 affairs.
1912 W. Healy 29
Miserable sex affairs of lowest order, on occasions over long time... Boy himself admits affairs.
17 Mar. i. 1
She had occasional sex affairs. It was always understood with the men that the affairs were to be temporary.
1903 J. H. Yoxall vii. 47
Sex-anger rose in me; it was not cupidity alone that stirred me now.
1923 D. H. Lawrence xiii. 294
And if for a time you do overcome her with reason, the sex-anger only arises more hideously.
14 Apr. (Sunday Review section) 16
They had a very cold relationship. And this explains why she explodes into sex-anger when he dies.
1896 Nov. 780
Women have desired that their public work should be on the broad line of homo man..not on the narrow one of sex affinity, much less of sex antagonism.
1952 A. Christie xii. 93
We really get a feeling of sex antagonism between the chap and the girl.
15 Oct. b4
Although she occasionally felt sex antagonism from male scientists,..her accomplishments gave her tremendous satisfaction.
1914 J. A. Thomson vi. 411
In Echinoderms, for instance, the absence of ganglia puts definite sex-awareness out of the question.
18 Aug. b3
The organization plans to work with local school systems to raise sex awareness among parents and children.
1913 A. Moll tr. E. Paul
Introd. p. vii
For the physician in such cases to..give more than perfunctory general counsel, knowledge of the psychology of sex-behavior, as well as its physiology, is necessary.
1949 M. Mead xvii. 354
The exaggerated over-concern with the other..puts an extraordinary strain on sex behaviour.
1992 13 20
It is easier to establish safer sex behaviour from the beginning than it is to change existing sexual behaviour.
1920 D. H. Lawrence xvi. 221
Each acknowledges the perfection of the polarised sex-circuit.
1914 26 Sept. 4/3
There is no sex clinic, no white slave discussion,..it is a good old drama of our childhood days.
1972 27 Nov. 65
The sex clinic is fast becoming as vital a part of the modern hospital as the emergency room.
23 Nov. a26
A sex clinic is offering teenagers pregnancy tests and infection checks from a vending machine.
1912 B. Hart viii. 103
In certain elderly unmarried women the ‘sex complex’, including in that..the various instincts belonging to sex, has been denied its natural outlet.
1 Oct. iii. 8/5
He lost the [Funniest Accountant in America] contest because the judges felt he used his sex complex as a crutch.
1906 J. Y. F. Cooke 56
I have denounced..and desired them [sc. women]:..wondering always wherein their potency lay—how much to the universal sex compulsion, which is nothing to their credit, and how much to..the mere clothes.
1928 D. H. Lawrence vi. 66
Be damned to the artificial sex-compulsion! I refuse it!
1992 19 173/2
Edward was unable to control his drug and sex compulsions even though he knew he was under police surveillance.
1883 S. S. Hennell
II. ii. i. 291
The giving to the bond of Marriage its own perfecting self-consistency, by the means of the included perfecting of the Sex-conflict.
1948 H. R. Mowrer in H. Becker & R. Hill xii. 369
Sex conflict usually develops early in the marriage.
2003 57 2591/2
Sexual selection and sex conflict have minimal consequences.
1891 M. D. Conway xvi. 209
In physique, in sex-consciousness, she was still childlike.
1953 D. A. Bannerman II. 193
‘Sex consciousness’..remains for a long time, the male continuing to feed the female..even after the young are hatched.
6 Jan. (Weekend section) 60
The most ascetic sort of sex consciousness—that of the elderly academic cleric—with its passion for bruising the body to pleasure the soul.
1905 11 369
The psychological obliteration of the sex-contrast, found so conspicuously in the social life of the Syrians,..terminated in the conception of divinities which combined the two.
1911 J. A. Thomson iii. 263
The male ‘ends’ are salmon red or dull pink; the female ‘ends’ are greenish-grey or drab—the sex-contrast eking itself out in colour.
The sex contrast effect, which is characteristic especially of the perception of women, cannot completely explain the results [of a behavioural study].
1905 5 Aug. 381/2
Sufficiently wide investigation would demonstrate the sex correlation of even the infective diseases, such as tuberculosis.
1978 6 33/2
Hunting participation is predominantly by males,..and we found a similar (but weaker) sex correlation for hunting attitudes.
1893 6 22
Snuff-taking may be conceived as an exploitation of the pleasure of the sneeze-craving, as lewd dances..are of that of the sex-craving.
1921 D. H. Lawrence i. 20
The incest-craving is not the result of inhibition of normal sex-craving.
A disgraced former priest... has talked about his sex cravings and internet addiction.
sex difference n.
[compare French différence sexuelle (1761)]
1870 A. J. Davis ii. 28
There is a constitutional difference between a woman-nature and a man-nature which lies deeper than any habits or circumstances... This sex-difference was illustrated by Mr. R. Grant White.
1918 M. C. Stopes iii. 19
Vaguely, perhaps, men have realised that much of the charm of life lies in the sex-differences between men and women.
2000 19 46
The proposition that sex differences in communication may indeed be biologically based rather than socially controlled.
1877 F. A. Maxse i. 5
We demand that where it [sc. property] qualifies a man it shall qualify a woman—that there shall be no sex disqualification.
1919 c. 71 § 4
This Act may be cited as the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act, 1919.
1994 L. A. Hall in S. Oldfield xvii. 193
By the 1920s women over 30 had obtained parliamentary suffrage, and certain sex disqualifications had been removed.
a1713 T. Ellwood
Sex-Distinctions too are laid aside. The Women wear the Trowsies and the Vest: While Men in Muffs, Fans, Petticoats are drest.
1894 H. Drummond 317
From a state marked by a mere varying of the nuclear elements,..the sex-distinction slowly gathers definition.
1924 W. Lewis in 24 May 191/2
The sex distinction has been very much diminished A period of sex-fusion having set in, sex qua sex has lost its importance.
11 Nov. (Culture section) 54
Smith derides conventional sex distinction: ‘She was as brave and handsome and rough as a girl. She was as pretty and delicate and dainty as a boy.’
1885 14 Jan. 4/1
While correcting these figures for age and sex distribution,..[he] makes no mention of adding the deaths of the inhabitants..who die in the public institutions.
1949 M. Mead xiii. 266
The very simple accidents of sex distribution inside any family give a structure within which a child can feel unwanted.
10 June 655
Twenty-six patients had HCV [sc. hepatitis C virus]. The sex distribution, mean age, and dialysis duration were similar between groups.
1899 13 403
There will also be interests more or less peculiar to sex, especially during those years when sex-divergence is marked.
1999 B. 266 2148/1
Sex divergence in tail length relative to snout-vent length within red-sided gartersnakes.
sex education n.
[compare French éducation sexuelle (1892)]
1893 J. A. Symonds Let. 11 Feb. in S. Brady
I feel very doubtful as to whether the Southern or Northern view of sex-education is the right one.
1908 8 246
With the quack medicine crusade waged by Collier's..and the sex education of the child on the part of Ladies Home Journal, there are hardly any of these magazines which the nurse may not choose..not only to read aloud but for her own edification.
1969 7 Aug. 7/6
A series of sex-education talks I'd been giving at a North-east London youth club.
2002 V. Coren & C. Skelton lii. 322
The brigade of Daily Mail piano-leg-covering prigs who think that a liberal sex education is some sort of foul perversion.
1912 I. S. Wile i. 35
Enlightenment by parents as to the evolution of life..forestalls the vulgarity and obscenity of the usual sex educators—companions, servants, and gangsters.
1934 J. K. Folsom xvii
Sex differences and reproduction. This knowledge, it is now agreed by most sex educators, should be given at an age much earlier than our traditional culture has favored.
15 May (Features section) 10
The second party had a female sex educator talk to attendees about female ejaculation.
1897 K. Pearson II. 350
She [sc. the primitive mother-goddess] becomes a centre of sex-emotion, and a symbol of archaic race feeling.
1967 A. Marshall in 108
He was sure the men he knew were incapable of any sex emotion other than an animal lust.
4 Nov. (Weekend section) 5
We're putting our sex-emotions where our nesting-emotions should be.
1882 17 Aug. 1/5
It was a time of furore on the sex equality question.
The organization of the League of Nations has from the outset been founded on the principle of sex equality.
2 Mar. (Features section) 18
She calls for a legal requirement for employers in the private sector to promote sex equality and eliminate sex discrimination.
1903 E. A. Kirkpatrick vii. 113
Looking at the matter from the physiological side, we note that not infrequently some physical defect is the cause of sex excitement and perversion in childhood.
1980 5 706
A common insight about sex excitement to be found in many women's novels is that each person's history is an encoded set of reasons for arousal.
1892 A. W. Besant 57
It seems likely that sex-experience constantly redresses the balance of the evolutionary process.
1919 M. C. Stopes
Women so harried by the undue drains of unregulated sex-experience.
16 Aug. 24
Nearly a third of males and a quarter of females aged 16 to 19 have had their first sex experience before the age of 16.
1908 17 Jan. 2/2
Along with economic exploitation has often gone sex exploitation.
A..man was arrested yesterday after allegedly using the MySpace Internet site to lure a 15-year-old..girl into an odyssey of rape, sex exploitation and drug abuse.
1869 June 339
He was given to onanism, being quite overpowered by the sex-feeling: he deplored it.
1918 M. C. Stopes v. 50
Even after a woman's dormant sex-feeling is aroused..it may even take as much as from ten to twenty minutes of actual physical union to consummate her feeling.
Ten [topics on a student questionnaire] were sexually explicit:..‘Getting scared or upset when I think about sex’, ‘Having sex feelings in my body’, ‘Can't stop thinking about sex’, [etc.].
1897 K. Pearson II. x. 57
The important part played by women in the Dionysian sex-festival.
27 June (Entertainment section) 17 f
A weird backwoods sex festival that is a combination of spring-break orgy and biker rally.
1915 C. Hamilton ii. 98
He was a sex fiend, in the same way as men are opium fiends.
1976 T. Heald vi. 111
She was picked up by a sex fiend..and raped.
2005 J. Trunk 2
His uncanny resemblance to Aleister Crowley, London's legendary black magician and sex fiend.
1914 9 July 12/5
Sex film at Grand is given the O.K. by local censors.
1970 10 Dec. 10/4
From time to time we have to see, not sex films, but sex-instruction films.
2003 M. Bronski iv. 255
Sex films of the fifties that were introduced by a ‘doctor’ explaining why the movie was ‘educational’.
1929 D. H. Lawrence 26
The sex-flow is dying out of the young.
1869 June 338
These men [sc. in an insane asylum] are debarred from any natural exercise of their sex-function.
1929 D. H. Lawrence 15
The sex functions and the excrementory functions in the human body work so close together, yet they are..utterly different in direction.
5 May a1
The vigorous bike ride facilitated arousal in women with normal sex function as well as those with low sex desire.
a1911 D. G. Phillips
II. x. 244
The favorite children's games, often played in the open street with the elders looking on.., were sex games.
1976 J. Crosby xxvi. 148
‘Don't you like sex games?’ she said.
2003 14 Aug. 5/2
Telling how humiliated she was by her husband's sex games.
1970 18 Sept. a3/2
Some of the most damning testimony to come out against the sex guru in the now 15-week-old trial.
2004 Dec. 167/4
Could you go without sex..forever? Thousands of women do, says US sex guru.
1914 H. de V. Stacpoole iii. 107
The wicked and blasphemous people who talk of sex-hate.
30 Aug. t36
Their ‘fun night out’ ended with one of the worst sex-hate crimes in Britain since the Yorkshire Ripper killings of the late Seventies.
1897 E. B. Dietrick 52
The bitter misogyny of Tertullian's works, which were rousing fierce sex hatred on the part of men.
11 Oct. 9
It's this wistful wallflower who brings the undercurrents of violence and sex-hatred to full, tabloid-headline boil.
1907 8 Mar. 377/2
A very definite material basis, therefore, exists for a treatment of the sex characters as if they were Mendelian alternates, sex determination, as opposed to sex heredity, being a matter of Mendelian dominance.
1919 R. C. Punnett
They have been able to correlate these peculiar differences in sex-heredity with differences in the minute structure of the cells of which the bodies of the two sexes are composed.
20 July (Features section)
He [sc. A. Parkes]..had published an essay on sex heredity in Science Progress [in 1921].
1907 H. Adams xxx. 387
History looked doubtful when asked whether race-inertia had ever been overcome without destroying the race in order to reconstruct it; but surely sex-inertia had never been overcome at all.
1929 D. H. Lawrence
You may even bring about a state of utter indifference and sex-inertia.
1907 13 25
On the part of the young, ignorance of the dangers which come from the irregular exercise of the sex function is compulsory; sound sex instruction is forbidden as improper.
1935 E. Bowen i. iii. 42
We do not consider him ripe for direct sex-instruction yet, though my husband is working towards this through botany.
1 Jan. 12
These students are unlikely to appreciate that they should and could seek more comprehensive sex instruction from a more reliable source.
1910 I. Zangwill xi. 404
The French..have too hobbledehoyish a devotion to the sex-joke, the Germans are too tamed, the Americans too untamed.
1941 ‘G. Orwell’ in 4 155
More than half, perhaps three-quarters, of the jokes are sex jokes.
He cracked sex jokes..[and] flirted with reporters.
1936 2 Sept. 1/6
3 Quizzed in sex killing of rich spinster.
The house was the scene of a vicious sex-killing.
1912 J. D. Beresford 90
‘She seems devoid of the sex longing.’ ‘Happily, yes!’
1925 T. Dreiser II. iii. xiv. 183
All those..sex-longings..had long since been covered with an easy manner.
1958 5 Apr. 430/1
The mechanical two-dimensional sex-longings of a frustrated adolescent.
1890 3 252
The basis of sex love among men is reproduction, and among savages exists as such and nothing more.
1976 R. Delmar in J. Mitchell & A. Oakley ix. 281
There are several conditions which, in Engels..make sex love the rule within the proletariat.
2007 M. R. B. Muhaiyaddeen 126
One is true love and one is selfish love, sex love, carnal love.
1920 D. Byrne xix. 271
She picked up a cheap sex magazine.
1980 P. Kinsley vii. 66
The customs officer..sold any sex-magazines he could confiscate from foreign tourists.
2003 E. Schlosser iii. 117
A sex magazine produced at least twenty times the revenue per copy of a remaindered comic book.
1925 W. Deeping xii. §1
He was more than a sex-man.
2004 K. E. Riggs iv. 95
There might be a pedophile. A sex man on there.
1895 Apr. 592
Sex mania in art and literature can be but a passing phase.
1976 E. Trudgill ix. 243
The hysterical reaction against aestheticism, the fiction of sexuality, and other symptoms of sex mania in literature, was partly the product of a sudden fear about the country's moral health.
1893 H. H. Gardener 185
That it [sc. the licence for debauchery allowed young men] should end in the wreck of the sex maniac himself and in his own destruction.
1971 14 Dec. 3
The Jersey sex maniac..was jailed for 30 years yesterday for 13 indecent and sexual offences against young girls and boys.
2001 P. Burston viii. 114
He already knew that David found his father attractive. What if the E turned his father into a sex maniac?
1899 E. Hubbard ii. 62
Ambition is the concomitant of rivalry, and sex is its chief promoter—it is a secondary sex manifestation.
1949 M. Mead viii. 167
These [sc. seizures] are extremely violent, but without specific sex manifestations.
1990 J. Sapp iii. 72
[In Hartmann's theory of sexuality] the sex manifestation by a cell is the result of a weakening or strengthening of the expression of either the male or the female potency.
1922 T. J. Pierce
Sex manual: a scientific, physiological and hygienic study of the sex question.
1975 H. McCloy iii. 21
He would be a sober, industrious lover. He would read all the sex manuals.
2006 31 Aug. 167/2
[The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex] is better than most sex manuals because it's comprehensive.
1929 G. W. Deeping vii. § 1
She saw in him a man-child who would need the mother in woman more than the sex-mate.
1995 M. Garber iv. xxi. 488
And Jean knew Christopher's ‘sexmates’ but ‘showed no desire to share them’.
1921 19 Jan. 2/5
Prevent ‘sex’ movies in Chicago.
2004 D. Kepler in N. Foster 193
Making all that noise like you were in a sex movie. Nice girls don't do that.
1895 23 Mar. 223/2
The tedious and tawdry sex-novel is long dead; even at the libraries it lies neglected in the catacombs.
1951 M. McLuhan 23/2
Amid the unmitigated torrent of sadistic sex novels works of reflection are tolerated only if they are..‘warmly human’.
2002 45 155
In the course of a century, The Awakening moved from reviled sex novel..to revered icon firmly established in the pantheon of American literature.
1897 G. B. Shaw in 2 Jan. 12/1
[Shakespeare] gave to its [sc. his London world's] perpetual sex-obsession the relief of individual character and feminine winsomeness.
1920 F. M. Ford 19 Sept.
The end would be the most horribly costive neurastheniac you can imagine, with incredible sex obsessions sedulously concealed.
2004 22 June i. 32/1
The Britain I see around me every day howls with the pain of drugs, alcoholism, violence,..[and] sex obsession.
1914 1 Mar. 5/6
A prolonged sex orgy set to music.
1962 J. Heller xxi. 208
Officers' clubs everywhere pulsated with blurred but knowing accounts of lavish, hushed-up drinking and sex orgies there.
2000 Sept. 184/1
Incredibly involved sex, where the male half of one [hermaphrodite snail] is screwing the female half of the other, and vice versa—a sort of simultaneous, four-way sex orgy.
1913 W. A. McKeever 203
The mating off and choosing sex partners in the games, and the other forms of accentuating the individual sex consciousness.
1949 M. Mead ix. 195
But patterns that regulate competition in the choice of sex partners are learned patterns.
2005 M. O'Connor i. 5
[Sex] addicts do it with random people in dark alleys, strangers they'll never see again, have sex partners into the hundreds.
1927 F. M. Thrasher iii. xiv. 267
Gang shag, sex party in the alley.
1957 J. Kerouac i. i. 8
He told him of..his innumerable girls and sex-parties and pornographic pictures.
14 Sept. d8
Stories emerged that sex parties had been held for football recruits at Colorado.
1903 21 Mar. 9/3
Fremont was a beautiful girl, a charming woman, had that mysterious sex power over men so much prattled about.
1977 i. 7
The bully-boy sex-power of Nazism/fascism is very attractive and an easy solution to our complex moral and social dilemmas.
A man who lost his sex power through electric shock as he worked near Kenya Power and Lighting Company..live wires has been awarded Sh4 million.
1893 W. D. Howells xii. 81
She had her sex-pride in the Synthesis..because..women had borne an important part in founding it.
1925 G. W. Deeping xxv. § 2
She was in a state of emotional confusion, rebel and lonely child, the victim of her unrealized sex-pride.
Trying to whip up some old-fashioned sex pride among the demoralized troops.
1876 T. Hardy II. xxxvii. 105
You cannot have celebrity and sex-privilege both.
1924 24 834/2
Health is not a sex privilege.
8 Aug. a17
The system of race and sex privileges known as quotas that are thoroughly institutionalized throughout the government, private industry and universities.
1887 21 399
To those who have studied the sex problem from the scientific stand-point, the doctrine that the sexes are thoroughly distinct mentally as well as physically goes without saying.
1900 J. X. Merriman 1 July
The shrieking sisterhood who write on sex problems and scream out for votes.
1993 W. Self 150
There was this sex problem, of course, and there was something else, a rootlessness, an atemporality about my life.
1880 July 69
In arguments upon the sex question it is usually claimed that women have a finer moral development than men.
1917 F. W. S. Browne in 7
General early marriage, even if possible under present conditions, does not solve the sex question.
This is a bit embarrassing, but I'm sure all sex questions are. I just recently got together with my boyfriend... Our sex is, well, boring.
1913 31 Aug. 7/4
Mason is the woman in the case in a brand new sex scandal.
1958 A. Mayce tr. R. Lewinsohn 176
There were sex-scandals in Protestant circles in no way behind those of papal Rome.
2002 27 Sept. 17/1
Australia's top intelligence agency is being undermined by sex scandals, nepotism and corruption.
1948 8 Aug. 19/3
The regular run of movies have more suggestive scenes and lines than most sex shows.
16 Sept. m1
Prostitutes, explicit sex shows, and X-rated shops..abound.
1905 Dec. 582/1
[He] still esteems it akin to treason for the sex-slave in marriage to refuse to render sex-service.
16 Aug. 28
He denied that Asian women were forced to work as sex slaves in military brothels during the war.
1893 M. D. O'Brien xvi. 261
The calm and peaceful ‘affinity’ of reason is independent of sex and lust, and no one need break their agreements or plunge into a sex slavery in order to find it.
23 Aug. 10
Children are either sold into sex slavery by their parents or are kidnapped after being lured to the big cities with promises of work.
1922 G. S. Hall vi. 298
Male and female hormones..have a sex specificity that is the main factor in directing growth.
1947 V. G. Dethier 19
There are reasons why sex specificity also must exist... The food preferences of both sexes are not always identical (e.g., mosquitoes).
2001 D. Rowland et al. i. 5
All too frequently, the findings from samples of females are discussed as being female-specific, but single-sex studies cannot address the sex-specificity of their findings.
1894 E. Carpenter 11
The special evils of sex-starvation and sex-ignorance on the one hand, and of mere licentiousness on the other.
26 Nov. 4
It was generally infidelity as a result of sex starvation that led to the final [marriage] breakdown.
1949 M. Mead vi. 137
A sex stereotype that decries the interests..of each sex is usually not completely without a basis.
15 Apr. a15
Sex stereotypes are endorsed if they're positive (e.g. that women are more nurturing than men) and denounced if they're negative (e.g., that women are less intelligent than men).
1946 G. H. Seward ix. 113
We should also bear in mind that the problem of sex stereotyping is complicated by the factor of emotional security.
A Vodafone newspaper ad was held guilty of sex stereotyping. It carried a picture of five cleaners, all women.
1896 in H. Kingsley (Advt. section)
To readers who are weary of ‘problem-studies’ and sex-stories..the volume will afford infinite pleasure.
1936 ‘G. Orwell’ xi. 295
Fools demanding crime-stories and sex-stories and romances.
2004 Dec. 400/2
A black rain of political agendas, deadline pressures, raging lawyers, and weird sex stories.
1910 E. H. Muncie vii. 54
This first little sex talk to my boy I hope to make the foundation of a series of Nature Stories.
1931 G. J. Renier iv. 85
The wide-spread ignorance of the technique of love among average Englishmen..results from the taboo on direct sex-talk.
1977 ‘C. Fremlin’ xiii. 94
They have these sex talks..at school from the age of nine.
2000 W. Self
All this Freudian sex talk was the preview, a blabbermouthed precursor of all the feckless promiscuity that was to follow in the sixties.
1913 20 July 26/7
The modern girl can not understand that exquisite spirit which permeates ‘Little Women’, but they respond to the sex thrill of plays like ‘The Common Law’.
1928 D. H. Lawrence i. 6
In the actual sex-thrill within the body, the sisters nearly succumbed to the strange male power.
13 Sept. 26
[Men] found it the ultimate sex thrill during a night out when their girl suddenly announced: ‘I'm not wearing any [knickers] tonight.’
1871 S. S. Hennell
II. i. 417
Individuality..depends..on relational influences..and especially on subjection to that primal one of Sex-union, round which all of the others are grouped.
1923 M. C. Stopes iii. 39
The type of woman who..has acquired the view that all sex union after the procreation of the desired number of children has been accomplished, is wrong.
23 June x. 1
There is a chapter ‘Sexual Entitlement Therapy’, where impotency strikes all sex unions, except those based on love and equality.
1905 D. Forster vi. 26
Among the worst effects of the sex war are the divisions it causes among women.
1969 M. Pugh vii. 45
She was a freedom fighter in the sex war.
2001 C. Coker iv. 86
The ‘Nation of Islam’..was profoundly conservative on the issue of the sex war. It segregated women at its meetings.
1896 B. Russell 176
Mary Wollstonecraft, in her ‘Vindication of the Rights of Women’, sketched the problem as one of sex warfare, with a democratic rather than a socialistic solution.
8 Mar. 26
Both women are black, so the tension grows out of class and sex warfare rather than race.
1781 W. Cowper 415
Sin, that in old time Brought fire from heav'n, the sex-abusing crime.
1978 48 250
We have seen striking growth in passively sex-abusing women.
6 Jan. 3
The Catholic Church..can no longer condone cover-ups to protect sex-abusing priests.
1923 D. H. Lawrence 156
Now you've come sex-alive, and the great ranch dogs are all after you.
1923 D. H. Lawrence xiii. 294
You can reason with a sex-angry woman till you are black in the face.
1899 ‘G. F. Monkshood’ 124
Mrs. Mountstuart cannot shine till she is self-conscious and sex-conscious.
1953 S. Kauffmann ii. 30
But she's certainly a sex-conscious girl. It's in her voice, in the way she sits, the way she drinks.
6 Feb. 11
The title of Jack Thorne's Fanny and Faggot leads you to expect something more intensely sex-conscious and homosexually orientated than you are given.
1920 O. A. Hill ii. v. 276
Dr. Averling..lived as a husband with Eleanor Marx... When his love grew cold, she drank poison. Averling sex-crazed soon after died.
1954 R. P. Bissell xx. 218
Well I'm reading this here story about a sex-crazed maniac.
23 Apr. iva. 31/2
A sex-crazed media culture in which many feminists are adopting a[n]..approach that views pornography as expression, not exploitation.
1929 D. H. Lawrence 27
The most high-flown sex-emancipated young people.
1916 T. Dreiser xliv. 364
Those who, sex hungry or wealth hungry or adventure hungry, have no part or parcel with morality.
20 Mar. (Features section) 8
Thousands of sex-hungry married men and women are logging on in search of sleazy one-night stands with strangers.
1895 13 Jan. 11/4
It has been said that the modern school of French novelists is sex mad.
1943 E. M. Almedingen ii. 58
Look at all this promiscuity... They have all gone sex-mad.
2001 27 Jan. 6/1
A sex-mad monk who groped four women in the Confessional Room..was yesterday jailed for six years.
1909 P. White xxiii. 276
The first English philosopher to point out that art, literature, politics and human society generally are sex-obsessed.
1979 25 Oct. 13/1
Civilised human beings are remarkable among animal species for being sex-obsessed.
2002 14 Apr. iv. 13/6
Rome doesn't care a fig about the hurt feelings of spoiled, sex-obsessed Americans.
1909 C. P. Gilman in 3 16
We must consider it [sc. the family] first on its biological basis, as a sex-related group for the purpose of rearing young.
1977 11 Dec. 9- c/1
A high-ranking official of Planned Parenthood says television's standards on sex-related programming should be as much a public issue as its standards on televised violence.
3 Mar. 4 b
A..bill..which would require felons who get probation to provide a DNA sample if their crimes were violent or sex-related offenses.
1923 E. B. Reuter xvi. 242
Studies have shown that the marriage rate of college graduates is less than the average of the population... This is true..of the graduates of the co-educational schools as well as those of the sex-segregated type.
2002 J. Eugenides ii. 92
The house was sex-segregated like the houses in the patridha , the old country, men in the sala , women in the kitchen.
1922 J. Joyce ii. xv. [Circe] 512
The dark sexsmelling theatre unbridles vice.
1984 22 160
One-night trysts in cheap, sex-smelling motel rooms.
1921 June 495
By an age and sex specific death rate is meant the rate got by dividing the number of persons of a particular specified age and sex dying from a particular cause by the total number of persons living in the same population of the same age and sex.
1964 G. Pincus et al. IV. iii. 145
This inhibitory hormone from the brain is neither species nor sex specific.
1998 N. Lawson
The disinclination to spend hour upon hour in the kitchen every night is not sex-specific.
1920 R. Van Saun 396
The sex-starved woman carries an offensive odor.
1978 M. Birmingham 164
Their first guess is that I'm a sex-starved grass-widow, glimpsing seducers behind every door.
2003 J. R. Lennon i. vi. 317
Amateur Hotties: page upon page of..young-to-middle-aged women baring all for..the lonesome sex-starved jerkoffs of America.
1642 H. More sig. Ev
Mad-making waters, sex trans-forming springs.
1922 56 199
If environment..plays such an important sex transforming rôle, why do male tadpoles never transform into females.
1993 47 488
Sex-transforming mutations with temperature-dependant expression have been found in Drosophila..and nematodes.
† sex-abolitionist n. Obsolete nonce-use a person who seeks to abolish sexual differences, or discrimination on the basis of sex.
1887 Jan. 29
If this examination craze is to prevail, and the sex-abolitionists are to have their way.
sex act n.
[compare earlier sexual act (compare quot. ); compare also French acte sexuel (1883)]
a sexual action or activity, especially the act of sexual intercourse.
1888 22 329
Forms like the parent plant are produced by means of so-called spores... They are..no more a product of the sex act than the buds used in grafting.
1894 E. Carpenter 34
That any kind of love-union could exist in which the sex act might possibly not be the main object was an incredible proposition.
1958 21 Aug. 263/1
A consciousness of guilt in the sex act.
2003 E. Schlosser iii. 114
‘Hard-core’ now generally refers to porn in which the intercourse or oral sex is..unmistakably real. In soft-core porn these sex acts may be simulated.
sex aid n. a device designed for sexual stimulation or to enhance sexual pleasure or performance; a sex toy; cf. .
1964 31 Mar. 8/2
The eternal search for youth has made elderly people the prime targets for the peddling of sex aids and potency pills.
1976 M. Schofield xv. 219
It may be possible to make use of sex aids like vibrators; and erotic books, pictures or films might be helpful in some situations.
9 Mar. 25
Permission to sell explicit products, including R18-rated videos and sex aids.
sex appeal n. character or quality which appeals to the sexual instinct; (originally, in a play, novel, etc.) sexuality or sexual relations as a theme; (later, in a person, esp. a woman) sexual attractiveness (also fig.); cf. .
1908 T. Travis iii. 162
It is not immoral plays with the sex appeal [that are indicted]—it is that style of theatre, like the Thalia of the Bowery, which is constantly filled with children.
The play which contains no sex appeal is described by professional critics as being ‘undramatic’ or ‘not a play at all’.
1913 F. A. Kummer Pref.
Did not the fact that the vast majority of women devote the bulk of their..energy to personal adornment argue that they themselves regard sex appeal as their most valuable asset?
1924 2 318/1
An actress with sex appeal is four times out of five a more effective actress.
1953 Nov. 32/2
For the frustrated and starved, it [sc. Communism] has all the sex-appeal of a strong, monolithic creed.
2003 11 Aug. 38/2
This babe..shows you can be covered up and still ooze sex appeal.
sex-appeal v. transitive to attract or appeal to (someone) sexually; (also) intransitive to be sexually attractive.
1924 G. R. Chester 25
She'd sex appeal me all right!
1928 9 Dec. 12/3
A person not being ‘sex-appealed’ is simply inconceivable to them.
23 Mar. e4
Actor Landon Vaughn makes you see both why he sex-appealed to Evy.
sex-appealing adj. having or exerting sex appeal.
1923 G. L. Morrill 256
How unlike our vulgar, sex-appealing jazzes that some consider social accomplishments.
1932 20 June 4/1
Both [stories] are glittering, glamorous, sex-appealing.
4 Nov. 1
Provocative pictures of Grachev in the company of a sex-appealing pop-singer.
sex attractant n. chiefly Zoology a volatile substance produced by an individual in order to attract others of the same species for the purpose of mating; a synthetic substance with the same property; a sexual pheromone; also attributive or as adj.
1952 47 107
The sex attractant is produced chiefly by virgin females.
1964 27 Aug. 291/2
The study of sex-attractant odours in insects has shown that these may be so highly specific that a very slight change in their chemical structure may make them less effective or even quite ineffective.
1996 25 May 14/1
I saw..an answer about controlling codling moths with a pheromone trap, based on attracting the male moths to a sticky board using a sex attractant.
29 Jan. 17
A mystery chemical that young women deploy as a sex attractant pheromone seems to work for post-menopausal women too.
sex-blind adj. blind to or unaware of sex or sexual differences; (now) spec. that does not discriminate between the sexes.
1929 W. Deeping v. 44
He was sex blind, a little celibate with eyes that saw nothing in woman save a creature anatomically different from man.
1967 29 799/1
Forcing those in decision-making posts to discard all they think, feel, and know about sex in favor of sex-blind policies.
Even in those fields or workplaces alleged to be race- or sex-blind, white men consistently out-earn women and minorities.
1955 8 May iv. 6/1
In the 20s Harriet was a ‘new’ woman—faintly Boehmian, faintly incredible... Now she is Gloria Grahame—a sex-boat and a lady.
1 Apr. e1
Hutchence has the skinniest legs of any sex-boat, bo-hunk lead singer in the world.
2004 R. Kubey viii. 324
She was the best home economist in the world, but in her mind, she was a devastating sexboat.
sex bomb n. colloq. a person, esp. a woman, who is very sexually exciting or active; cf.
1954 19 June 4/5
She has such a fiery disposition to go with her sensual beauty and well-distributed curves, that enthusiastic West Germans are calling her the ‘Yugoslav Sex Bomb’.
1976 P. Cave iii. 42
Sex-bomb, Sonya Stelling might be. Oscar contender she was not.
2006 Sept. 97/1
Remind him he's marrying a sex bomb..by giving him the sexiest strip show he's ever seen.
sex call n.
(a) Zoology a vocal call used for attracting a mate or initiating mating; (in extended use) any other signal having such a function;
(b) a sexually explicit telephone call, spec. one made for the purpose of sexual gratification (cf. ).
1901 5 Jan. 50/2
Certain lizards of the South African veldt, the so-called ‘clucking sand lizards’ do, as their name suggests, utter a ‘cluck’, which in their case is probably a sex-call.
1927 II. 1498/1
This light in the firefly is used as a sex call.
1951 R. Rugh iii. 41
Amplexus is achieved as the females reach the ponds where the males are emitting their sex calls.
1976 M. Wilding 84
I've put a woman's name in the phone book so I get the sex calls. Then I can tape them.
1976 June 25/3
The problem has been to find a way to isolate and identify the chemical ‘sex call’ of each species.
1995 No. 488. 5/1
Captive [civet] females often emit characteristic sex calls, to which the male responds with a contact call.
14 July (Magazine) w14
Belle takes sex calls while watching TV and Adam lives more in his computer than the real world.
sex cell n. Biology a reproductive cell, either male or female in function; a gamete (sperm or egg cell), or a cell which gives rise to gametes.
1889 P. Geddes & J. A. Thomson 91
Very commonly the sex-cells originate in the ectoderm and ripen there.
1934 J. A. Thomson & E. J. Holmyard I. i. 11
Sexual multiplication by means of special germ-cells or sex-cells is much more economical.
1999 27 May i. 9/8
Scientists believe the sex cells, or germ line, in the gonads monitor levels of reproduction and send out signals that cause the ageing of highly fertile worms.
sex change n. a change of sex; esp. a change in a person's physical sexual characteristics brought about by surgery, hormone treatment, etc.; also attributive.
1922 14 Sept. 11/3
Dr. Orton thinks that the sex change [in oysters] is due to changes in the environment.
1960 Mar. 258
Sex-change may well seem, as The Times said, ‘unprepossessing’ as a subject for comedy.
1970 21 Dec. 2/6
More people with transsexual problems are seeking National Health sex-change operations.
1997 G. S. Helfman et al. x. 139/2
Many fishes go through a prematurational sex change, differentiating but not maturing first as females, with some individuals later changing to males.
2000 7 July 66/2
I had a sex change 11 years ago, I've worked with transgender people for more than 10 years.
1882 16 994
There are a few abnormal individuals of each sex, whose sex characters are not pronounced.
1948 C. D. Turner viii. 263
The primary sex characters are the gonads.
1998 89 461
The female puberty-gland did not just leave the male sex characters alone: it actively inhibited them.
sex characteristic n. = .
1890 17 103
The value of some distinguishing sex characteristic in the case of seedling Ailanthus trees..would be appreciated by all who are acquainted with these ornamental trees.
1951 A. Grollman xxvi. 581
The estrogenic hormones are responsible for certain secondary sex characteristics in the female, such as the plumage markings of some birds.
2002 J. Eugenides i. 41
I possess all the secondary sex characteristics of a normal man except one: my inability to synthesize dihydrotestosterone has made me immune to baldness.
sex chromatin n. Biology (originally) the material of the sex chromosomes; the part of the chromatin of a cell which acts as a sex determinant; (later) spec. the material comprising a small heterochromatic mass (the Barr body, believed to be an inactivated X chromosome), of which there is one in a normal (XX) female cell and in general one less than the number of X (or Z) chromosomes in a cell.
1909 G. N. Calkins 257
A statement which, if true, gives..confirmation of the early hypothesis of Balfour and Minot that the nucleus of the primordial egg or sperm cell contains both kinds of sex chromatin, the opposite kind being eliminated by the reducing divisions of each sex.
1952 Graham & Barr in 112 709
The term ‘sex influenced chromatin’, or simply ‘sex chromatin’, will be used in the description to follow for the nuclear structure characterized by a size relation to sex.
1962 27 Jan. 216/2
In all cases the sex-chromatin pattern was shown to be consistent with the morphological sex.
1994 D. Tulchinsky & A. B. Little
The inactive X chromosome is attached to the inner surface of the nuclear envelope as a heterochromatic body, also known as the Barr body or sex chromatin body.
sex-chromosomal adj. Biology of or relating to the sex chromosomes.
1913 15 593
The two white females..came from the union of the two-X egg with the no-X sperm of the vermillion pink male, and should be entirely maternal and entirely non-paternal in sex chromosomal composition, i.e., they should be exact counterparts..of their mother.
1994 A. Kolker & B. M. Burke iv. 48
Only a few counselors routinely mentioned sex chromosomal abnormalities.
sex chromosome n. Biology each of the chromosomes (normally two in number) in a cell's chromosomal complement, the particular combination of which normally determines an individual's sex; contrasted with In humans and other mammals, normal females have two X chromosomes, males one X and one Y. In birds and some other animals, males have two Z chromosomes, females one Z and one W.
1906 E. B. Wilson in 3 28
These chromosomes are the bearers of the male and female qualities (or the factors essential to the production of these qualities) respectively. They may also be designated (whenever it is desirable to avoid circumlocution) as sex-chromosomes.
1926 J. S. Huxley 46
From all the facts, we can, I think, be sure that all the higher animals possess special X or sex-chromosomes, two in one sex, one in the other, by whose agency sex is determined.
1974 U. Goodenough & R. P. Levine x. 466
The sex of a fly is determined, in part, by the number of euchromatic sex chromosomes, called X chromosomes, possessed by an individual.
2002 J. Eugenides iv. 411
The webbed-necked girl teens with Turner's syndrome, who had only one sex chromosome, a lonely X.
sex comedy n. a play, film, or television programme which combines erotic and comic elements, or whose plot centres on romantic relationships or sexual encounters.
(Libr. of Congr. Copyright Office)
Adamless (The) Eden; sex comedy in 3 acts, by C. Moore.
1970 31 May 38/5
A haphazardly contrived sex comedy played for more than its worth by a skilled cast.
2014 K. Feil in M. DeAngelis vi. 167
Vulgarity..figured centrally in..1980s male-dominated ‘gross-out’ sex comedies.
sex crime n. a crime involving sexual assault, or having a sexual motive; crime of this nature.
In different countries sex crime is handled in various ways.
1908 T. Travis 26
Manslaughter, murder, sex crimes, [etc.].
1925 Feb. 196
Sex crimes, which are commonly regarded as a natural result of drug taking, actually never occur among addicts.
2000 6 Aug. i. 28/1
Since 1991, state health law has required emergency rooms to examine survivors of sex crimes with rape kits.
sex criminal n. a person who commits a sex crime or crimes.
1914 22 Mar. 42/4
As we have murderers among us, so we have these sex criminals, though not in anything like the same numbers.
1972 J. Symons xv. 100
Inadequacy. That's the mark of sex criminals.
2001 C. Palahniuk ii. 15
Prostitutes and sex criminals out on a three-hour release from their minimum-security jail.
sex determinant n. Biology a factor (esp. a genetic factor) which determines an individual's sex.
1902 3 73
If we accept the theory that chromatin is the bearer of hereditary qualities, there could be little doubt regarding the necessary chromosomic character of a sex determinant.
1926 R. S. Lull x. 151
Among certain animals,..variation in nutrition is a sex determinant.
1995 6 Oct. 113/2
The search for genetic sex determinants has involved several false starts.
sex determination n. Biology the biological process by which an individual becomes male or female.
1889 P. Geddes & J. A. Thomson iii. 49
The temperature of the time, not of birth but of sex determination, must of course be noted.
1909 R. H. Lock ix. 277
It is not necessarily to be supposed that the above description of the facts of sex-determination will hold good for every kind of organism.
1936 S. J. Holmes iv. 44
Sex determination would..appear to be settled at the time of fertilization, when the individual receives his or her allotment of chromosomes.
1977 106 iv. 137
Primitive wasps..evolved the sex determination mechanism of haplodiploidy, whereby unfertilized eggs yield males and fertilized eggs yield females.
2005 15 Jan. 42/3
The fact that these insects have evolved sociality perhaps a dozen times owes much to their curious method of sex determination.
sex determiner n. Biology a gene which determines the sex of the individual bearing it.
1909 5 Mar. 397/2
Bateson completes the explanation by offering the further suggestion that there is no disjunction of the sex-characters in spermatogenesis because the male does not carry the female sex-determiner at all.
1960 E. J. Gardner vii. 123/2
When the parallelism was discovered between the chromosome cycle and gene behaviour it was generally assumed that genes other than sex determiners were also located in the sex chromosomes.
2002 S. J. Gould v. 460
In these developmental studies, Goldschmidt recognized normal sexuality as a quantitative phenomenon produced by a balance of male and female sex determiners.
sex-determining adj. Biology determining an individual's sex.
1896 30 269
In frogs, butterflies, etc. the sex determining power of the soma has been experimentally demonstrated.
1901 P. Geddes & J. A. Thomson
In regard to rotifers (Hydatina), Maupas maintains that temperature is the sex-determining factor.
1966 24 Dec. 1397/1
This discrepancy between mammals and birds..might reflect different evolutionary origins of chromosomal sex-determining mechanisms in the two classes.
1998 25 Sept. 1990/2
Generally, in mammals, maleness is determined by the presence of the Y-linked gene Sex-determining region Y (Sry).
sex-discriminating adj. that discriminates or differentiates the sex of something; (also) that discriminates against a person (typically a woman) on grounds of sex.
1955 9 219/2
If it [sc. a snake] was..another coral snake, the proper sex discriminating releasers would probably be elicited and courtship or aggressive behavior..would result.
1964 C. Barber iv. 105
The sex-discriminating word used to indicate that the member of some profession or the holder of some office is a woman.
1976 4 Mar. 264/3
I do not care if it is unfair, or sex-discriminating, for a woman to get an old age pension five years before a man.
Wal-Mart is... a sex-discriminating, union-busting..mega-giant that will do anything to maintain superiority over its employees.
sex discrimination n. discrimination or differentiation on grounds of sex; spec. = .
1885 11 Dec. 3/5
One [of the buildings] will be used for a male and the other for a female college. The plan is so broad as to shut out sex discrimination.
(National Woman's Party)
Enfranchised women in the United States regard the removal of sex discrimination from our national constitution as a political need of primary importance.
1965 24 Nov. 3/3
New guideline interpretations on sex discrimination have just been issued by the Commission... So far the Commission has received over 400 complaints of sex discrimination.
2000 5 May b10/6
A black job-seeker..charged that race and sex discrimination barred her from being hired as a driver.
sex-discriminatory adj. that discriminates against a person or group (esp. women) on grounds of sex.
1929 143 267/1
They are some of the minorities who, through superior skill or opportunity, have found their way to places seldom filled by women, and who therefore find sex-discriminatory laws endangering their economic security.
22 Dec. 755
When people conceive of women as nice and men as competent, they are less likely to notice and dismantle sex discriminatory practices than when they conceive of women and men as equally nice and equally competent.
sex doll n.
(a) = ;
(b) a sex toy resembling a woman's body in shape, size, and appearance.
1934 W. Deeping xxii. 340
She would go and meet Sherring as the complete dowd,..in stockings that were most unprovocative. Figging up the silly sex-doll because a mere man was expected! Just like some little wench.
1962 20 Mar. 10/6
Janet, who became a sex doll in ‘The Day the Earth Caught Fire’.
1967 Summer 61/2
Anna permits Stephen to make love to her, submitting limply like a rubber sex doll.
7 Mar. b31/4
After..coming into possession of a life-size, molded plastic sex doll with the body of a 20-year-old woman, he develops an erotic obsession with the toy.
sex drive n. the urge to seek satisfaction of sexual needs.
1916 21 June 8/6
That so much trouble and evil come to people through the sex drive is due to the fact that it is that emotion which most influences character.
1963 A. Heron 54
There may be a period..when the sex-drive is latent.
2002 5 July 20/7
A field trial involving muira puama found that about two out of three women with self-reported loss of sex drive noticed an improvement in intensity of sexual desire.
(a) having a liberal attitude towards sex (now rare);
(b) not involving sex.
1929 D. H. Lawrence 24
But the bohemian is ‘sex free’.
1960 Sept. 72/1
Gerda is one of those sex-free affairs between tormented men and life-accepting women.
22 Oct. (Style section) 47
Sex is a huge part of intimacy... There are couples who say they enjoy successful sex-free relationships, but they are rare.
sex gene n. Biology a gene responsible for determining sex.
1911 45 69
These chromosomes undoubtedly contain many other factors than those of sex whose presence might obscure size relations even when such exist in the sex genes.
1951 16 173/2
Similarly in Drosophila, the sex gene is diffuse, scattered throughout the active portion of the X [chromosome].
2003 S. Greenfield
Hundreds of diseases are linked in this way to the sex genes, and other genes relating to diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, are found on other chromosomes.
sex gland n. Biology (usually in plural) a glandular organ associated with reproductive functions; esp. a gonad considered in terms of its production of sex hormones.
1877 A. Wilson v. 81
In Anodon..the sex-gland, as the reproductive organ is named, is situated on the foot-mass, and grows very large in the winter and spring.
1916 17 887
We may consider boys in the period of prepubescence as individuals..as yet scarcely influenced by the internal secretions of the sex glands.
1954 I. Asimov ix. 126
The gonads..are sometimes called the sex glands, because the hormones they produce are responsible for the changes that take place when a boy or girl grows up to become a man or woman.
2002 R. Porter iv. 95
The thyroid, pancreas, sex glands and the adrenals all became recognized as endocrine glands, essential regulators of health.
sex god n.
(a) Mythology a god associated with or ruling over sex or procreation;
(b) a man who is exceptionally sexually attractive or accomplished.
1899 K. R. Budde Contents p. x
Yahweh was the god of the covenant of the tribes—along with him in Israel were household gods, sex gods, tribal gods.
1969 56 46/3
The popular arts portray endless variations of the playboy, the jet set, the beautiful people, the sex gods and goddesses.
1999 S. O'Hara 14
Perpetuating the popular notion of Italian men as nothing but sex gods.
17 Apr. 6
A man claiming to be the ancient Egyptian sex god Min.
sex goddess n.
(a) Mythology a goddess associated with or ruling over sex or procreation;
(b) a woman who is exceptionally sexually attractive or is regarded as a sex symbol.
1933 G. MacMunn xi. 204
This is a widow story.., and through it all runs the fanatical influence of a sex goddess.
1959 4 July b9/7
She slithered admirably, giving the criminal the impression—apparently—that she is some kind of sex goddess.
2003 Dec. 345/2
Sex goddess Brigitte Bardot wore nude lipstick.
2006 D. L. Paxson ii. 89
Freyja is much more than a sex goddess.
sex hormone n. Biology any of the (natural or synthetic) hormones that affect sexual development or behaviour, esp. those produced by the gonads.
1915 14 142
The author..suggests that this [inconstancy of secondary sex characters] may be due to the much more restricted action of sex hormones among plants.
1934 J. A. Thomson & E. J. Holmyard II. 1328
Among the seminiferous tubules of the testes there are some interstitial cells which produce a special sex-hormone.
1965 22 Apr. 218/3
The materials contained in the various forms of The Pill are synthetic sex hormones.
2002 28 Mar. 9/7
Sex hormone pollution is causing female birds..to sing along with their male counterparts.
sex hygiene n. the set of behaviours intended to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted disease; (also more widely) sex education.
1899 S. H. Rowe xii. 131
Clark University..and Stanford University..have of late entered on a campaign for the study of sex and of sex hygiene.
1934 E. R. Mowrer in E. R. Groves & L. M. Brooks xiii. 283
A program of sex hygiene..will teach individuals what to expect in sex relations in such a way as to raise these contacts from the realm of the release of physiological tensions to that of a mutually satisfying experience.
1980 M. T. Connelly iv. 78
The phrase ‘sex-hygiene education’ is somewhat misleading, because what was advocated was not an open knowledge of sexuality and sexual behavior but rather an enlightened indoctrination in proper and safe sex roles.
16 Feb. 4
They campaigned against spitting on streetcars and for sex-hygiene classes in high schools.
sex impulse n. the impulse, or an impulse, towards satisfaction of sexual needs.
1883 S. S. Hennell
II. ii. i. 349
The sex-impulse that is at [the] root of all love.
1912 23 134
The sex impulses find no outlet before puberty.
20 Feb. (Features section) 24
The arrival of the sex impulse—alarming, exciting, excruciating—had been a key moment in my school years.
sex industry n. the commercial trade in sex and sexually stimulating materials, including prostitution, pornography, etc.; cf.
1965 20 Jan. 15
Here's a no-holds-barred attack on the U.S. sex industry, the full, shocking story of..the big business boom in filth.
1978 8 Jan. a16/3
For example, the District of Columbia is known as a ‘fast town’ tolerant of the sex industry, whereas Norfolk supposedly is conservative and open only to soft-core pornography.
1996 L. Al-Hafidh et al.
II. ix. 383
Nowadays this quarter is ruled by the sex industry, with its nerve centre on the notorious Reeperbahn.
sex-influenced adj. chiefly Biology (esp. of a gene) affected in its properties or expression by the sex of the individual.
1926 53 207
There are sex-limited or sex-influenced factors in both allosomes and autosomes.
1951 12 244
During accelerated synthesis of Nissl material the sex-influenced chromatin moves from its usual position, next to the nucleolus, toward the nuclear membrane.
16 Jan. 9
Because of the complex pattern of inheritance and the sex-influenced nature of the genes, DNA markers are needed to help integrate polled genes into cattle breeding populations.
sex instinct n.
[compare French instinct sexuel (1835)]
the behaviour and feelings associated with sexual reproduction considered as an instinct for the survival of the species; (also) =
1883 17 911
Sex instinct could not have existed prior to the origin of the male sex.
1898 C. P. Stetson iii. 56
What business has a little girl with the instincts of maternity?.. They are sex-instincts, and should not appear till the period of adolescence.
1913 D. H. Lawrence ix
The sex instinct that Miriam had over-refined for so long now grew particularly strong.
1931 3 Aug. 13/3
We talked about a sex instinct, but it was very blunt.
1976 A. Montagu
Everyone ‘knows’ from his or her own experience that there is such a thing as a sex instinct.
1996 19 97
Freud reduced everything to the omnipresent and omnipotent role of the sex instinct: Eros is the sex instinct and love is Eros.
sex interest n.
(a) interest in or concern with sex or sexual relationships;
(b) this as a theme in a story, film, etc.; (also) an actor or character who arouses sexual desire or interest (cf. ).
1885 19 821
It is not divorce laws which are to be feared, but something which lies deeper; that is the weakening of the metaphysical sex interest.
1911 Apr. 139/2
There is scarcely any ‘sex interest’ in it at all.
1940 ‘G. Orwell’ in Mar. 189
Both of these papers admit a certain amount of sex-interest into their stories.
1975 P. Kronhausen & E. Kronhausen xvi. 200
The question of whether..those who have to deal professionally with sexuality in one form or another..have to reckon with a loss of sex interest as a possible ‘professional hazard’.
2003 G. Burn
Diana Dors, who was the sex interest in It's a Grand Life.
sex intergrade n. chiefly Biology an individual in which both male and female characteristics are present; an intersexual individual.
1916 2 578
Sex intergrades in a species of crustacea.
1924 J. A. Thomson xxi. 114
The occurrence of sex-intergrades, such as very masculine females, is well known among pigeons.
1962 27 Jan. 216/2
The hypothesis, advanced by Lang, that some male homosexuals are sex intergrades—i.e., morphologically male but genotypically female.
At times the chromosomes or the hormones become unbalanced and various degrees of sex intergrades result.
sex killer n. a murderer who sexually assaults his or her victim(s).
1935 27 June 1/2
Keep close watch on sex killer.
1959 M. Gilbert ii. 26
You'd be surprised..how many sex-killers turn out to be their mothers' favourite sons.
26 June 8
A sex killer was being hunted last night after a young woman was found semi-naked with her throat cut on a golf course.
sex kitten n. colloq. a young woman who asserts or exploits her sexual attractiveness.
1958 2 June 11/4
Clever film men have moulded her sex-kitten type.
1966 7 Jan. 9/2
Brigitte Bardot..the original sex kitten with the French charm.
2002 July (Encycl. Eroticus Suppl.) 18/1
Kylie. Has managed to morph from the cute girl next door to sex kitten extraordinaire.
sex-kittenish adj. like a sex kitten, characteristic of or resembling a sex kitten.
1963 J. Fowles ii. 166
Antoinette was almost parodying herself, she was so sex-kittenish.
18 May f13
The clothes are short, tight, sex-kittenish: crop-tops, slogan T-shirts, little skirts.
17 Jan. 53
She's a little girl one minute, a sex-kittenish woman the next.
sex life n. the aspect or part of life that involves sex; (now) spec. a person's sexual activity and relationships considered as a whole.
1873 J. P. Lacroix tr. A. Wuttke II. i. 75
The greater dependence on..the changes of the seasons in the entire female sex-life [Ger. Geschlechtsleben].
1919 5 590
A man's sex life is not merely a matter of the individual.
1936 ‘P. Quentin’ xx. 181
I get no kick out of the sex-life of the white-tailed baboon.
1976 15 Mar. 13/2
He is being reviled for apparently having absolutely no sex life, none at all.
2003 ‘Zane’ ix. 55
What really pissed me off was Jon talking about my sex life. Something she didn't know jack shit about.
sex machine n. (originally) a person, typically a woman, who performs a sexual role or function mechanically and without feeling; (later usually) a person characterized as vigorous, unremitting, and insatiable in his or her pursuit and performance of sex.
1922 M. E. Cousins vii. 95
These things turn the women of the household often into drudges, overworked cooks, and mere sex-machines.
1935 H. Edib viii. 43
Now she wants to burden me with another sex-machine.
1970 J. Brown
Get up (I feel like being a) Sex Machine.
15 Dec. 15
Her tales of their kinky lovemaking helped fuel the Nicholson legend... ‘When I knew him he was absolutely the sex machine,’ she said.
1883 S. S. Hennell
II. ii. 335
In the now-supposed general Design of things, Christianity was the initiatory stage of Sex-morality.
1958 4 Dec. 933/2
Queen Victoria..instituted a new reign of sex-morality.
2001 S. T. Joshi ix. 150
Among his published works was at least one..treatise on sex morality.
sex mosaic n. Biology an individual having some cells that are genetically of one sex and the rest of the other sex.
1903 40 197
Unilateral and mixed hermaphrodites are an exceptional form of sex-mosaic.
1955 11 350
The 1st gynandromorph is a simple bilateral sex mosaic showing yellow Ww gene in the left male wings and white Ww gene in the right female wings.
2002 99 13232/2
The use of sex mosaics to define centers and circuits responsible for courtship behavior is somewhat limited.
sex-negative adj. that has or promotes a conservative, repressive, or intolerant attitude towards sex and sexuality; anti-sex (cf. ).
1931 in H. Steiner 86
The sexual misery of the working class is caused by..the sex-negative education [Ger. sexualverneinenden Erziehung]..of children during puberty.
1984 16 108/1
Sex-negative values..prevent people from talking openly about sex, and thinking of sex as something to be enjoyed for its own sake.
3 Dec. b8
By endorsing abstinence, one is embracing a sex-negative ideology that is a euphemism for sexual repression.
sex-neutral adj. not differentiated on the basis of sex; suitable for both males and females; (also) not biased towards either sex.
1957 59 238
Tagalogs employ sex-neutral kinship terms much more than we do. The following kinship words of this nature are in general use: asawa, spouse; apo, grandchild; [etc.].
1989 M. Moffatt v. 182
Daily informal dress..was relatively sex-neutral, a loosely unisex style.
The test had proved to be ‘sex neutral’,..both men and women performed equally well in it.
sex object n. a person towards whom or thing towards which sexual impulse or desire is directed; (now esp.) a person regarded by another only as an object of sexual interest.
1911 22 423
Instead of sublimating the sex impulse, he [sc. Leonardo da Vinci] directed it towards the physical Jesus in toto. It was simply the substitution of one sex object for another.
1963 B. Friedan xi. 266
For the woman who lives according to the feminine mystique, there is no road to achievement, or status, or identity, except the sexual one: the achievement of sexual conquest, status as a desirable sex object, identity as a sexually successful wife and mother.
1980 G. Greene ix. 59
Deane is not an actor: he is a sex object. Teenage girls worship him.
2000 A. Dutney in A. Hastings et al. 134/2
The encyclical identifies dangers in the use of ‘artificial birth control’ including the encouragement of promiscuity, the reduction of women to sex objects, [etc.].
sex offender n. orig. U.S. a person who commits an illicit action or (now esp.) a criminal offence involving sex.
1911 M. Cox 41
A memory left..by Puritan ancestry with its pillories and scarlet letters for sex offenders.
1916 C. J. Weidensall App. 294
She then became a domestic and after a year was a sex offender for the first time... Domestic on a farm. Was a continuous sex offender with one of the farm hands.
1939 Mar. 535
Prior to the enactment of this statute in Illinois, a criminal sex offender received no special treatment.
2005 A. Masters xxiii. 254
His main topic of conversation about prison is his hatred of sex offenders.
sex offence n. orig. U.S. an offence (originally a social offence, now usually a criminal offence) involving sex or a sexual act.
1910 A. Wilson vi. 111
These cruel, cunning sex offences [sc. seduction of young girls, infidelity, etc.] and their far-reaching effects.
1911 J. London 8 Jan.
You are suffering from what you deem a sex-offence.
1977 J. Thomson vii. 85
The offences..included fraud, burglary,..assault, sex offences of various sorts.
2007 13 Nov. 30/4
In half of the [reported rape]..cases involving alcohol..the suspects had not been investigated, despite having a history of sex offences.
sex organ n. (usually in plural) a reproductive organ; = .
1847 A. Tulk tr. L. Oken 533
Their sexual parts [Ger. Geschlechtstheile]..do not open posteriorly, but far forwards on the ventral side of the body, this being the case with even the male sex-organs [Ger. selbst die männlichen].
1978 15 Mar. 6/3
Old symbols like mutilation of sex organs..are passé.
2002 16 Dec. 60/1
There are probably more euphemisms for vodka than for anything other than the male sex organ.
sex pest n. colloq. (chiefly Brit.) a sex offender; a person who sexually harasses another.
1985 7 Aug. 5/1
Sex pest's one-way ticket back. A convicted sex offender, sent by a Californian judge..to Florida,..is to be returned to where he came from.
1992 6 Jan. 5/4
Women are frightened to complain about sex pests because of the attitude of employers, researchers said.
12 Apr. 9
A serial sex pest who tormented Cairns women and girls over a two-year period was jailed..yesterday.
sex play n.
(a) a drama about sex, or having sexual content;
(b) play having a sexual nature, spec. sexual activity that does not involve intercourse.
1899 14 Mar. 3/2
This play, which has been termed the great sex play, made a tremendous sensation when it was first produced on the London stage.
1922 U. Sinclair II. xxxiii. 34
Their games and dances were sex play, and so also, in great part, was their religion.
1945 W. C. Kvaraceus ix. 94
The very early sex play indulged in by the ‘rebel’ and his sister, forced to share a bed until the beginnings of adolescence.
Arthur Schnitzler's classic highly-charged sex play ‘La Ronde’.
2006 15 June 183/1
Masturbation toys..might add a new sheen to cockcentric sex play.
sex-positive adj. that has or promotes a tolerant, progressive, or candid attitude towards sex and sexuality; pro-sex (cf. ).
1953 W. Reich II. iv. 81
With the change of the basic adjustment from sex-negative to sex-positive, naturally not very much was altered in the character structure.
1997 G. S. Rubin in M. P. Levine et al. v. 113
The safe-sex campaigns were a sex-positive response to the illness.
2002 93 476/2
The gradual shift to sex-positive views of masturbation in the twentieth century.
sexpot n. colloq. a sexually attractive, exciting, or active person, esp. a woman.Occasionally (quot. ): a person who is sex-obsessed.
1953 14 Sept. 4/2
After talking about her next picture, ‘Mogambo’, in which she is a real sexpot, I happened to mention her herculean husband.
1961 May 57/2
Ovid..the dirty old sexpot.
1975 5 May 115/1
Graham Chapman, John Cleese..with Connie Booth and Carol Cleveland as their sexpot aides.
2002 ‘Mistress Chloe’ xiii. 199
The place was full of tarty sexpots hired to attract punters to the various exhibits.
sex ratio n. the ratio of male to female individuals in a population.
1886 49 474
There is therefore some, but not much, evidence of an increase in Hertfordshire of the sex-ratio during the twenty-one years.
1913 T. H. Morgan 221
A curious sex ratio appeared in one race of fruit flies. Some of the females persisted in producing twice as many females as males.
1974 J. Burnett i. 48
Because of the unequal sex ratio one in three [Victorian] women were ‘doomed’ to spinsterhood.
2003 7 Mar. 19/5
The falling sex ratio across Punjab prompted the Akal Takht, Sikhism's supreme religious and temporal seat, to issue an edict last year banning female foeticide.
sex relation n. the relation between the sexes, or an instance of this; spec. (usually in plural) = .
1871 S. S. Hennell
II. i. 321
His mind appears notably at conflict with itself as to the nature of the Sex-relation.
1880 14 Aug. 4/4
If the state should listen to the petitions of those who ask that sex relations be exemplified from control, the experience [etc.].
1911 O. Schreiner Let. in R. First & A. Scott
[She] thinks it's wrong for people, even if married, to have sex relations with each other except just when they want to make a child.
1948 A. C. Kinsey et al. xxi. 613
The behavior pattern of the animal,..its position relative to the other animal in the sex relation.
10 Aug. (Larry King Live)
So then you're like a lesbian... I identify as lesbian, yes, absolutely... So your sex relations would be with a woman... Yes.
sex relationship n. the relationship between the sexes, esp. as involving sexual intercourse.
1873 7 Mar. 5/3
[In society] polygamy and every other form of sex relationship are represented.
1963 A. Heron i. 8
There are certain historical characteristics of the Society of Friends that ought specially to lead to..understanding of the significance of the sex relationship.
2000 53 326
Gilman's central thesis is that because in the human species alone the female depends on the male for food,..for us the sex relationship is also an economic relationship.
1899 ‘G. F. Monkshood’ 39
The writings of Rudyard Kipling do not appeal to women... He does not write of adulterous entanglements prettily,..does not exhibit a study of sex-repression labelled religious fervour.
1958 J. Cannan i. 27
Richard used to treat me as a case of sex repression.
27 June 20
We have moved from sex repression to sex obsession.
sex reversal n. the adoption of a physical form or behavioural role characteristic of the opposite sex.
1910 22 Apr. 632/2
Since none of these plants were subjected to the vigorous traumatic treatment described above it is held that some factor other than traumatism produces the sex reversal.
1926 J. S. Huxley iv. 53
Hens which had undergone sex-reversal to cocks.
1949 M. Mead vi. 129
Peoples may provide sex-reversal rôles for both sexes.
2003 19 Dec. 2050/1
Each year, a few babies are born with a male set of chromosomes and female sexual organs. This sex reversal..can happen when changes in a protein called SRY impair its function.
sex-reversed adj. that has undergone sex reversal.
1925 E. W. Sinnott & L. C. Dunn 230
If such a sex-reversed hen were barred, what would be the appearance of her offspring when bred to a non-barred hen?
23 July 18
A fertilized female mouse egg will become male when injected with SRY. The animal in question..was the first sex-reversed mouse ever produced in this way.
sex-reversing adj. that reverses the sex of an animal or person; (also) that changes sex.
1926 J. S. Huxley iv. 52
Some sexually abnormal human beings are the victims of this sex-reversing power.
1989 43 1559/1
This lack of direct natural selection on the breeding sex ratio is perhaps nearly universal for typical dioecious species. Interestingly, this result is not true for sex-reversing organisms.
24 Aug. 29
Sex-reversing mutations have spawned new species of cichlid fish in Lake Victoria.
sex ring n. an organization or network of people engaged in crimes of a sexual nature, esp. the trafficking of children for the purpose of sexual abuse.
1937 5 Oct. 1/4
[The] 19-year-old accused in a vicious ‘sex ring’ expose pleaded not guilty..on charges that he had assaulted a small girl.
1952 19 Mar. iv. 10/6
A multi-million dollar sex ring, engaged in the distribution of dirty films..and in the production of off-color ‘girlie’ shows at smokers, was smashed tonight in a series of raids.
2004 C. Sanderson
Sex rings consist of groups or networks of unrelated adults, in which they trade related, or unrelated, children.
sex role n. orig. Social Psychology the culturally determined role or pattern of behaviour which a person learns as appropriate to his or her sex.
1917 B. Glueck & J. E. Lind tr. A. Adler 103
The longer the uncertainty as to the sex-rôle [Ger. Geschlechtsrolle] exists, the more urgent becomes the effort..to attain the masculine rôle.
1977 July 3/3
The sex-roles are traditionally presented and the girl who helps Mummy to hang out the washing is rewarded.
2005 18 Sept. (T: Style Mag.) 132/2
They experiment with relationships and sex roles, from boy toy to breadwinner, from date-to-the-ball to tantric-sex partner.
sex scene n. (in a book, film, or play) a description or scene of a sexual nature, esp. one featuring sexual intercourse.
1915 17 Dec. i. 1/5
Rancid sex scenes.
[The play] contained the most strenuous sex scene ever known to New York..so daring that all other daring scenes seemed tame.
2002 V. Coren & C. Skelton vi. 36
A sex scene between two girls is absolutely de rigueur in any mainstream porn film.
sex shop n. a shop selling goods relating to sex, as pornography, sex aids, etc.
1949 J. V. D. Houston i. 14
The ‘sex-shops’ at Kobe, where instruments for carnal satisfaction were sold openly and publicised in English.
1970 26 Nov. 4/2
‘Sex-shops’..are now established in many West German cities.
2002 D. Aitkenhead xi. 113
Next door to the prim fifties dating culture of Camps Bay are Green Point's new sex shops, brothels and gay bars.
sex surrogate n. a person who or thing which acts as a substitute for sexual activity or a sexual partner; spec. a person employed to have sexual relations with someone undergoing sex therapy.
1916 C. E. Long tr. C. G. Jung iii. 172
Enuresis must be regarded as an infantile sex-surrogate [Ger. Sexualsurrogat].
1975 16 June 3/1
‘We try to be like the girl next door,’ said Bonnie, who calls herself a therapist and a sex surrogate.
1979 10 July 9/1
Dr. Martin Cole's Institute for Sex Education and Research..has been supplying sex surrogate therapy for ten years.
9 Feb. r35
The film's abrupt shift to 3-D porn and plastic sex surrogates explores only fetishism without truly addressing the isolation and alienation it exposes.
sex symbol n.
(a) a symbol that represents sex, or (the attributes of) a particular sex (now rare);
(b) a person widely regarded as the epitome of sexual attractiveness and glamour (now the usual sense).
1871 J. H. Jones 14
It resulted inevitably, therefore, that..the woman, the sex-symbol of the spirit, should become the slave of the man, the sex-symbol of the flesh.
a1911 D. G. Phillips
II. xx. 442
Men..might regard her as nothing but sex symbol; she regarded herself as an intelligence.
1951 M. McLuhan 94/2
The ‘line’ [of chorus girls] itself..is even more basic than the sex symbol of the flower.
1976 N. Botham & P. Donnelly i. 12
The olive skin of the man who would..become the world's first and most enduring sex symbol.
2000 23 Nov. 5/2
Once a cone bra-wearing sex symbol.., she [sc. Madonna] now talks about little but her forthcoming marriage.
sex therapist n. a therapist who addresses sexual problems.
1950 G. Heard ii. 141
It is as a master of language and of myth rather than as a specific sex-therapist..that he [sc. Sigmund Freud] will be remembered.
1977 J. S. DeLora & C. A. B. Warren iv. 90
Sex therapists, who direct their creative energy toward the specifically sexual difficulties of individuals or couples.
17 Sept. 12 e
The sex therapist may want to work with him alone at first, then eventually include couple therapy.
sex therapy n. therapy (now esp. counselling) which addresses a person's (perceived) psychological or physical sexual problems.
1952 8 Aug. 9/2
Sex Therapy. Homosexuals can cure themselves if they resolutely wish to do so.
1970 F. Belliveau & L. Richter
iii. vii. 77
Success in sex therapy is dependent upon communication between the sex-partners.
2003 15 May d1/4
Erotic materials or sexual activity aren't part of mainstream sex therapy.
sex tour n.
(a) a guided tour of a city's red-light district, museums of erotica, etc.;
(b) a holiday taken specifically for the purpose of engaging in sexual activities; spec. a trip to a country (frequently in the developing world) made in order to take advantage of the lack of restrictions imposed on sexual activity, esp. the more open availability and lower cost of prostitutes.
1974 8 Sept. 18/2
On the back of the..folder, entitled ‘Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen’, were listed the six excursions, with the sex tour labeled, ‘Copenhagen's Naked Truth’.
1977 7 May (Survey) 52/2
It is normal to smooth deals with much business hospitality, which has a special meaning in a country where ‘sex tours for Japanese businessmen’ are part of the invisible exports drive.
1995 19 Aug. 53
Any lonely shlub with a passport can feel like a stud..on 10-night sex tours in the Philippines.
sex tourism n. tourism (usually to a developing country) undertaken specifically for the purpose of engaging in sexual activities; the taking of sex tours (see ).
1979 5 Aug. 10/3
Protests against Japanese sex tourism..seem likely to mount in Asia's developing countries, concurrently with criticism of Japanese business practices.
1997 26 Feb. (Outlook section) 8/4
Sri Lanka is forming a Child Protection Authority to oversee a national campaign against youth-centred sex tourism.
sex tourist n.
(a) a person who visits a place in search of sexual titillation (rare);
(b) a person who engages in sex tourism (now the usual sense).
1954 C. Timberlake xxv. 377
This ‘play for the sex-tourists’—this ‘evening among the lesser fleshpots’—this ‘Darling of the Bawds’.
They are not the only sex tourists in Bangkok, which attracts other moneyed nationalities.
1984 E. Kim in E. Y. Yu & E. H. Phillips
To understand the motives of Western sex tourists, one cannot ignore the importance of their fantasies about Asian women.
2002 D. Aitkenhead p. xiii
We kept company with sex tourists and murderers, made friends with gangsters and racists, found some of the finest clubs in the world, and witnessed some of the worst dancing in evidence anywhere on the planet.
sex toy n.
(a) a person viewed as a sexual plaything;
(b) a device or object designed for sexual stimulation (as a dildo, vibrator, etc.) or to enhance sexual pleasure or performance.
1963 J. Rechy in A. Baraka 146
Tiny, like a sextoy, she squirms her butt cutely.
1972 3 255
The current products clearly indicate the trend to view condoms not only as a contraceptive but also as a sex tool. Japan has a long tradition from the feudal days of such sex toys.
1976 24 Nov. 22/2
Sex toys catalogue pack.
1999 J. Burchill xiv. 206
Michaela turns to me and smiles as if all her Christmases have come at once and she's getting sex toys for all of them.
sex trade n. the sex industry, spec. the business of prostitution.
1931 42 41
The income and budget of the sex trade, the control of venereal disease, sterility, arrangements with police.
No men have yet been prosecuted for sex with women or girls forced into the sex trade.
sex trafficking n. the action or practice of coercing people into prostitution, pornography, or other forms of commercial sexual exploitation, usually involving illegal or forcible relocation.
1913 30 Oct.
The girls and women of the country are found to be safe and not even knowing of a single case of sex trafficking in their whole city.
1977 27 May a4/5
The CBS-60-Minutes show discussed this tragic subject of sex trafficking in children.
2013 F. Malekian & K. Nordlöf ix. 219
Increasing poverty in different parts of the world leads to sex trafficking.
sex-typed adj. Sociology and Psychology categorized or ‘typed’ as being characteristic of either the male or the female sex.
1941 N. E. Miller & J. Dollard xii. 198
The punishments meted out to adults who actually exhibit such tendencies tend to maintain and strengthen the sex-typed habits acquired.
1979 Feb. 31
The modal pattern for each sex is, nonetheless, conventionally sex-typed.
2000 C. L. Williams in M. S. Kimmel & A. Aronson 294
Few have looked at the ‘flip-side’ of occupational sex segregation: the exclusion of men from predominantly female sex-typed occupations.
sex-typing n. and adj.
(a) n. the categorization of people, or their appearance, behaviour, etc., according to conventional perceptions of what is typical of each sex;
(b) adj. that categorizes people in this way.
1938 3 732
One can see from the record the persistent sex-typing of character under the influence of his parents and colleagues.
1976 4 Mar. 509/1
The ‘blue/gun for a boy: pink/dolly for a girl’, sex-typing syndrome.
24 Dec. 5
Of course, women can enjoy ‘male’ fiction,..want to flee domesticity and become monks or action heroes... That's what makes any kind of rigid sex-typing absurd.
1920 M. Sanger ix. 111
This man is not concerned with his wife's sex urge, save as it responds to his own at times of his choosing.
1966 D. Francis vi. 74
Bravery is built in... You can't stamp it out any more than the sex urge.
1991 K. Dalton
Sometimes when you feel most bloody-minded you nevertheless have an increased sex urge during the premenstruum.
sex work n.
(a) the academic study of sexual behaviour or practices (rare);
(b) employment in the sex industry, esp. paid work providing sexual services, such as in the pornography business or as a prostitute.Typically used (esp. when in preference to prostitution) to avoid or reduce negative connotations and to evoke affinity with conventional service industries.
1934 21 334
Hemp has been the subject of a great deal of study in regard to its sexual behavior. Malloch (1922) points out its desirability for sex work.
1970 27 Apr. 28/1
He [sc. Dr. William H. Masters] started sex work in 1954.
1983 in C. Leigh
Subtitled ‘The demystification of the Sex-Work Industry’, this one-woman performance piece was written by a prostitute.
1996 F. M. Shaver in B. Schissel & L. Mahood ix. 205
Many feminist theorists simply denounce prostitution in particular and sex work in general as dangerous, degrading, and entirely undesirable as a profession.
sex worker n. a person who is paid or employed to provide sexual services, esp. one working in the pornography business or as a prostitute.Typically used (esp. when in preference to prostitute) to avoid or reduce negative connotations and to evoke affinity with conventional service industries.
1971 7 Nov. 1/5
Coupling rage and laughter, detailing joys among urban field hands, thieves, postal workers, sex workers, factory workers, and the inevitable unemployed, and letting them specify what America is to a great many black folks.
‘Sex workers unite’, declared Carol Leigh.
2001 N. Jones ii. 345
Syphilis prevalence has increased globally over recent years, especially in inner cities where it is associated with sex workers and drug use.
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This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, December 2008).
In this entry:
- devout sex, the
- fair (also gentle, soft, weak, etc.) sex, the
- fairer (also gentler, softer, weaker, etc.) sex, the
- have sex (with), to
- organ of sex
- second sex, the
- sex act
- sex activity
- sex addict
- sex affair
- sex aid
- sex (and) drugs and rock 'n' roll
- sex and shopping
- sex antagonism
- sex appeal
- sex attractant
- sex awareness
- sex behaviour
- sex bomb
- sex call
- sex cell
- sex change
- sex character
- sex characteristic
- sex chromatin
- sex chromosome
- sex circuit
- sex clinic
- sex comedy
- sex complex
- sex compulsion
- sex conflict
- sex consciousness
- sex contrast
- sex correlation
- sex craving
- sex crime
- sex criminal
- sex determinant
- sex determination
- sex determiner
- sex difference
- sex discrimination
- sex disqualification
- sex distinction
- sex distribution
- sex divergence
- sex doll
- sex drive
- sex education
- sex educator
- sex emotion
- sex equality
- sex excitement
- sex experience
- sex exploitation
- sex feeling
- sex festival
- sex fiend
- sex film
- sex function
- sex game
- sex gene
- sex gland
- sex god
- sex goddess
- sex guru
- sex heredity
- sex hormone
- sex hygiene
- sex impulse
- sex industry
- sex instinct
- sex instruction
- sex interest
- sex intergrade
- sex joke
- sex killer
- sex kitten
- sex life
- sex love
- sex machine
- sex magazine
- sex man
- sex mania
- sex maniac
- sex manifestation
- sex manual
- sex morality
- sex mosaic
- sex movie
- sex novel
- sex object
- sex obsession
- sex offence
- sex offender
- sex on legs
- Sex on the Beach
- sex organ
- sex orgy
- sex partner
- sex party
- sex pest
- sex play
- sex power
- sex pride
- sex privilege
- sex problem
- sex question
- sex ratio
- sex relation
- sex relationship
- sex repression
- sex reversal
- sex ring
- sex role
- sex scandal
- sex scene
- sex shop
- sex show
- sex slave
- sex slavery
- sex starvation
- sex stereotype
- sex stereotyping
- sex story
- sex surrogate
- sex symbol
- sex talk
- sex therapist
- sex therapy
- sex thrill
- sex tour
- sex tourism
- sex tourist
- sex toy
- sex trade
- sex trafficking
- sex union
- sex urge
- sex war
- sex warfare
- sex work
- sex worker
- sterner (also†better, †rougher, stronger) sex, the
- third sex, the
- woman sex, the
In other dictionaries:
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- sex, n.21583
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- sexationalism, n.1927
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- sexcentenary, adj. a...1779
- sex control, n.1898
- sexcuple, v.a1690
- sexdecimal, adj.1807
- sexduction, n.1960
- sexed, adj.1605
- sexenary, adj.1815