Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Relating to, involving, or characteristic of sex or sexuality, or the sex organs and their functions.
  • adjective Relating to the sexes or to gender.
  • adjective Relating to, involving, or being reproduction characterized by the union of male and female gametes.
  • adjective Able to reproduce in this way; fertile.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or pertaining to sex or the sexes in general: as, sexual characteristics.
  • Distinctive of sex, whether male or female; peculiar to or characteristic of either sex; genital: as, sexual organs: the sexual system.
  • Of the two sexes; done by means of the two sexes; reproductive: as, sexual intercourse; sexual reproduction.
  • Peculiar to or affecting the sexes or organs of sex; venereal: as, sexual disease or malformation.
  • Having sex: sexed; separated into two sexes; monœcious: the opposite of asexual: as a sexual animal.
  • Such degree of affinity between the sexes of different species as enables these species to interbreed or hybridize.
  • In botany, a system of classification founded on the distinction of sexes in plants, as male and female. Also called sexual method, artificial system, Linnean system. See Linnean.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to sex, or the sexes; distinguishing sex; peculiar to the distinction and office of male or female; relating to the distinctive genital organs of the sexes; proceeding from, or based upon, sex.
  • adjective (Biol.) the condition of having one of the sexes existing in two forms, or varieties, differing in color, size, etc., as in many species of butterflies which have two kinds of females.
  • adjective (Bot.) a method of classification proposed by Linnæus, founded mainly on difference in number and position of the stamens and pistils of plants.
  • adjective (Biol.) the selective preference of one sex for certain characteristics in the other, such as bright colors, musical notes, etc.; also, the selection which results from certain individuals of one sex having more opportunities of pairing with the other sex, on account of greater activity, strength, courage, etc.; applied likewise to that kind of evolution which results from such sexual preferences.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of or relating to having sex, sexual acts and sexual reproduction.
  • adjective Of or relating to gender.
  • adjective Of or relating to sexuality.
  • adjective Of or relating to sexual orientations, sexual identity or preferences with respect to sexual intercourse
  • noun biology A species which reproduces by sexual rather than asexual reproduction, or a member of such a species.
  • noun LGBT A person who experiences sexual attraction, a person who has interest in or desire for sex (especially as contrasted with an asexual).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective having or involving sex
  • adjective involved in a sexual relationship
  • adjective of or relating to or characterized by sexuality

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Late Latin sexuālis, from Latin sexus, sex.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin sexualis, from sexus ("sex"); see sex.

Examples

  • And so, after the first sexual encounter, gradually his sexual  desire builds back up and joins, as it were, these other unfulfilled  desires -- this other need to totally possess her, after she's passed out, as

    TEDBUNDY

  • There's  no denying there's a sexual aspect to it, uh, but it was less-the sexual  aspect was less than actual sexual conduct and more directed toward the sex

    TEDBUNDY

  • If we introduce two terms and call the person from whom the sexual attraction emanates the _sexual object_, and the action towards which the impulse strives the _sexual aim_, then the scientifically examined experience shows us many deviations in reference to both sexual object and sexual aim, the relations of which to the accepted standard require thorough investigation.

    Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex

  • The boys were never properly questioned about whether there was a sexual motive in the killing as they became hysterical when the subject was brought up, but police were concerned that ­sexual abuse may have been committed.

    mirror.co.uk - Home

  • Republican U.S. Senator Larry Craig, who wanted to give states even more rights to prevent gay marriage and voted against including the term "sexual orientation" in a hate crimes bill, resigned after he was caught soliciting gay sex in an airport bathroom.

    James Moore: Rick Perry Is so Not Gay - Excerpted From Adios Mofo: Why Rick Perry Will Make America Miss George W. Bush

  • And once again the term "sexual harassment" is being thrown around in a way that conveys a misleadingly broad definition.

    Sexual Harassment's Legal Morass

  • Republican U.S. Senator Larry Craig, who wanted to give states even more rights to prevent gay marriage and voted against including the term "sexual orientation" in a hate crimes bill, resigned after he was caught soliciting gay sex in an airport bathroom.

    James Moore: Rick Perry Is so Not Gay - Excerpted From Adios Mofo: Why Rick Perry Will Make America Miss George W. Bush

  • Even 20 years after Justice Thomas joined the Supreme Court, and Americans heard the term sexual harassment'' in televised hearings featuring his accuser, Anita Hill, his confirmation remains a painful chapter in the nation's history because of its mix of race, sex and the left-right political chasm.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Currently, the term sexual assault is used instead.

    CBC | Top Stories News

  • Pakistan's ambassador went further, telling diplomats he preferred the term "sexual disorientation."

    Kansas City Star: Front Page

Comments

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  • Models developed by population geneticist Sally Otto . . . suggest that under most circumstances a diverse population of clones, which accumulate differences over time as a result of mutations, outperforms sexuals.

    New Scientist, 13 June 2009

    'Sexual' used as noun, contrasted with 'clone'.

    June 15, 2009