Meaning of “sexual” in the English Dictionary

"sexual" in British English

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us uk /ˈsek.sjʊəl/

sexual adjective (SEX)

B2 relating to the activity of sex:

Most people remember their first sexual experience.
a sexual relationship
formal sexual intercourse (= the act of having sex)
sexual orientation/preference (= whether someone chooses to have sex with men, women, or both)

relating to the production of young living things by the combining of a cell from a male with a cell from a female:

More examples

  • She campaigned tirelessly for sexual equality.
  • He conforms to all the sexual stereotypes.
  • They accused her of sexual discrimination.

sexual adjective (MALE/FEMALE)

C1 relating to being male or female:

Sexual equality will not be achieved until there is more provision for childcare.
Some steps have been taken towards ending sexual discrimination (= treating people unfairly because of which sex they are).

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

"sexual" in American English

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us /ˈsek·ʃu·əl/

sexual adjective (MALE OR FEMALE)

connected with being male or female:

the sexual characteristics of butterflies
He’s always believed in sexual equality.

sexual adjective (ACTIVITY)

connected with the activity of sex

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