Legal Dictionary


Definition of sex


    1382, from Middle French sexe < Latin sexus ("gender"). Thought to be connected with Latin seco, secare ("divide, cut") by the concept of division, or 'half' of the race. Akin to section. Meaning "sexual intercourse" first attested 1929 (in writings of D.H. Lawrence).


  • enPR: sĕks, IPA: /sɛks/, SAMPA: /sEks/
  • Audio (US) [?]
  • Rhymes: -ɛks
  • Homophones: secs


sex (countable and uncountable; plural sexes)

  1. (countable) Either of two main divisions (either male or female) into which many organisms can be placed, according to reproductive function or organs; gender.

    What sex is that hamster?
    The abnormality is found in both sexes.

  2. (uncountable) The distinguishing property, quality, or assemblage of properties by which organisms are classified as female or male on the basis of their reproductive organs and functions; the set of properties by which male is distinguished from female.

    The effect of the medication is dependent upon age, sex, and other factors.<br />The researchers divided the subjects by sex.

  3. (uncountable) Sexual intercourse; the act of sexual intercourse.

    All you ever think about is sex.
    We had sex in the back seat.

  4. (euphemism) Genitalia; a penis or vagina.
  5. (dated, with the definite article) the sex. Women; womankind. Also, the fair sex, the fairer sex, the whimsical sex.

    * 1759, Laurence Sterne, The Life & Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, chapter 1, Google Books
    ...unless it was with his sister-in-law, my father's wife and my mother,-my uncle Toby scarce exchanged three words with the sex in as many years...

    * 1913, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Dying Detective, paragraph 2, Google Books
    He disliked and distrusted the sex, but he was always a chivalrous opponent.


  • (kind of an organism as determined by its reproductive organs): gender, sexuality
  • (sexual intercourse): coitus, sexual intercourse

Related terms

  • sexual
  • sexuality
  • sexualize
  • sexualization


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

  1. (zoology) To determine the biological sex of an animal.

    It is not easy to sex lizards.

  2. (colloquial) To have sex with.

    The passionate lovers sexed each other every night.
    OK, so I'm sexin' her, right, and all I can think of is this other girl.

See also

  • sex up


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

Translation of sex in Malay

  1. seks


1.     salacious
2.     prima facie
3.     landed property
4.     lex situs
5.     lex fori
6.     respondent
7.     charge
8.     beyond reasonable doubt
9.     lex causae
10.     entitlement