Meaning of “sex” in the English Dictionary

"sex" in British English

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sexnoun

uk /seks/ us /seks/

sex noun (MALE/FEMALE)

B1 [ U ] the state of being either male or female:

What sex is your cat?
Some tests enable you to find out the sex of your baby before it's born.
It's illegal to discriminate against people on the basis of (their) sex.
She accused her employer of sex discrimination (= of treating her unfairly because she was a woman).

C1 [ C ] all males considered as a group, or all females considered as a group:

She seems to regard all members of the male sex as inferior.
Members of the opposite sex are not allowed in students' rooms overnight.

More examples

  • How can you tell the sex of a mouse?
  • They were divided according to sex.
  • We want to find out the sex of our baby.
  • What sex is this dog?
  • Development differs according to the sex of the child.

sex noun (ACTIVITY)

B1 [ U ] physical activity between people involving the sexual organs:

Sex before/outside marriage is strongly disapproved of in some cultures.
She was complaining about all the sex and violence on television.
She'd been having sex with a colleague at work for years.
Most young people now receive sex education at school.
casual sex (= sex with someone you do not know)
unprotected sex (= sex without using something to prevent disease or becoming pregnant)

More examples

  • She crusaded against sex and violence on television.
  • The sex scenes had been cut out of the English version of the film.
  • She's always dragging sex into the conversation.
  • Later on in life the sex drive tends to diminish.
  • The magazine, which gives frank advice about sex and romance, is aimed at the teenage market.

sexverb [ T ]

uk /seks/ us /seks/ specialized

(Definition of “sex” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sex" in American English

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sexnoun

us /seks/

sex noun (MALE OR FEMALE)

[ C/U ] the state of being either male or female, or all males or all females considered as a group; gender:

[ C ] List the name, age, and sex of each of your children.
[ U ] Employment discrimination on the basis of sex is illegal.

sex noun (ACTIVITY)

(Definition of “sex” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)