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sexual Syllabification: sex·u·al
Pronunciation: /ˈsekSH(o͞o)əl/

Definition of sexual in English:


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.


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

Words that rhyme with sexual

asexual, bisexual, heterosexual, homosexual, psychosexual, transsexual, unisexual
Definition of sexual in:
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