If you're looking to adopt a cat, you might ask the volunteer at the shelter about that little orange kitten's age and sex. Sex refers to whether the cat is male or female.

In addition to referring to the biological categories of male and female, sex is also shorthand for the activity of being physically intimate with a romantic partner. This word can also be used as a verb: farmers who sex their chickens are figuring out whether they have a rooster or a hen.

Primary Meanings of sex

either of the two categories (male or female) into which most organisms are divided
tell the sex (of young chickens)
all of the feelings resulting from the urge to gratify sexual impulses
stimulate sexually
Full Definitions of sex

n either of the two categories (male or female) into which most organisms are divided

“the war between the sexes
Type of:
category, class, family
a collection of things sharing a common attribute

n the properties that distinguish organisms on the basis of their reproductive roles

“she didn't want to know the sex of the foetus”
gender, sexuality
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maleness, masculinity
the properties characteristic of the male sex
androgyny, bisexuality, hermaphroditism
showing characteristics of both sexes
femaleness, feminineness
the properties characteristic of the female sex
the masculine property of being capable of copulation and procreation
Type of:
physiological property
a property having to do with the functioning of the body

v tell the sex (of young chickens)


n all of the feelings resulting from the urge to gratify sexual impulses

“he wanted a better sex life”
“the film contained no sex or violence”
sexual urge
Type of:
the experiencing of affective and emotional states

n activities associated with sexual intercourse

“they had sex in the back seat”
sex activity, sexual activity, sexual practice
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safe sex
sexual activity (especially sexual intercourse) with the use of measures (such as latex condoms) to avoid the transmission of disease (especially AIDS)
the act of becoming pregnant; fertilization of an ovum by a spermatozoon
love, love life, lovemaking, making love, sexual love
sexual activities (often including sexual intercourse) between two people
carnal abuse
any lascivious contact by an adult with the sexual organs of a child (especially not involving sexual intercourse)
conjugation, coupling, mating, pairing, sexual union, union
the act of pairing a male and female for reproductive purposes
breeding, facts of life, procreation, reproduction
the sexual activity of conceiving and bearing offspring
arousal, stimulation
mutual sexual fondling prior to sexual intercourse
perversion, sexual perversion
an aberrant sexual practice;
autoeroticism, autoerotism
using you own body as a sexual object
promiscuity, promiscuousness, sleeping around
indulging in promiscuous (casual and indiscriminate) sexual relations
unrestrained indulgence in sexual activity
gayness, homoeroticism, homosexualism, homosexuality, queerness
a sexual attraction to (or sexual relations with) persons of the same sex
sexual activity with both men and women
heterosexualism, heterosexuality, straightness
a sexual attraction to (or sexual relations with) persons of the opposite sex
bestiality, zooerastia, zooerasty
sexual activity between a person and an animal
abnormal sexual activity
the act of depriving a woman of her virginity (especially by rupturing the hymen through sexual intercourse)
roll in the hay
slang for sexual intercourse
hank panky
illicit sexual intercourse
the act (by a man) of inserting his penis into the vagina of a woman
assortative mating
mating of individuals having more traits in common than likely in random mating
disassortative mating
mating of individuals having traits more dissimilar than likely in random mating
criminal congress
forbidden or tabu sexual intercourse between individuals
crossbreeding, interbreeding, miscegenation
reproduction by parents of different races (especially by white and non-white persons)
generation, multiplication, propagation
the act of producing offspring or multiplying by such production
cross, crossbreeding, crossing, hybridisation, hybridization, hybridizing, interbreeding
(genetics) the act of mixing different species or varieties of animals or plants and thus to produce hybrids
the act of mating closely related individuals
service, servicing
the act of mating by male animals
caressing, cuddling, fondling, hugging, kissing, necking, petting, smooching, snuggling
affectionate play (or foreplay without contact with the genital organs)
masturbation, onanism
manual stimulation of the genital organs (of yourself or another) for sexual pleasure
one-night stand
a brief sexual encounter lasting only for a single night
inversion, sexual inversion
a term formerly used to mean taking on the gender role of the opposite sex
lesbianism, sapphism
female homosexuality
paederasty, pederasty
sexual relations between a man and a boy (usually anal intercourse with the boy as a passive partner)
Type of:
activity, bodily function, bodily process, body process
an organic process that takes place in the body

v stimulate sexually

arouse, excite, turn on, wind up
try to seduce
Type of:
excite, shake, shake up, stimulate, stir
stir the feelings, emotions, or peace of

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