Definition of sexual in English:


Syllabification: sex·u·al
Pronunciation: /ˈsekSHo͞oəl


  • 1Relating to the instincts, physiological processes, and activities connected with physical attraction or intimate physical contact between individuals: she had felt the thrill of a sexual attraction
    More example sentences
    • This was physical attraction, sexual temptation, nothing more.
    • Automobiles, contact sports, uncontrolled sexual activity - all ripe for criminalizing.
    • Integral to Wagnerian ideology is a belief that all sense of individual identity vanishes during sexual activity.
    carnal, erotic
    formal venereal
    technical coital
  • 2Of or relating to the two sexes or to gender: sensitivity about sexual stereotypes
    More example sentences
    • This cultural code expresses contempt for the body; devalues race, gender and sexual difference; and is fixated on ownership and control.
    • The award-winning British play promises a salacious good time with its decidedly postmodern take on gender and sexual power relationships in the middle ages.
    • It is often based on systematic observation, and can serve as a genuinely useful tool for expanding our concepts of sexual and gender possibilities.
  • 2.1Of or characteristic of one sex or the other: the hormones which control the secondary sexual characteristics
    More example sentences
    • To recognize these differences should however not lead to an essentialism grounded in sexual or cultural characteristics.
    • Whether Basil was really male or female was quite impossible to tell; a fox hides its sexual characteristics very effectively between its legs.
    • Laelae and their equivalent elsewhere in the Pacific clearly point to a dislocation between sexual anatomy and gender identity.
  • 2.2 Biology Being of one sex or the other; capable of sexual reproduction.



More example sentences
  • The counsellor warned those present that some sexually transmitted diseases last a lifetime.
  • A few years back, I heard of some dorks trying to sell coffee using some sexually graphic imagery.
  • As with all of her photos, they depict happy, sexually confident women who want to express another side to themselves.


mid 17th century: from late Latin sexualis, from Latin sexus 'sex'.

More definitions of sexual

Definition of sexual in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little