Etymology
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sexual (adj.)

1650s, "distinctive of either sex, of or pertaining to the fact of being male or female," from Late Latin sexualis "relating to sex," from Latin sexus "a sex, state of being either male or female, gender" (see sex (n.)).

The meaning "pertaining to copulation or generation" is from 1766, on the notion of "done by means of the two sexes;" hence also "pertaining to erotic appetites and their gratification" and "peculiar to or affecting the organs of sex, venereal" (1799). The phrase sexual intercourse is attested by 1771 (see intercourse), sexual orientation by 1967, sexual harassment by 1975. Sexual revolution is attested by 1962. Sexual politics is from 1970. Related: Sexually.

updated on July 12, 2022

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Definitions of sexual from WordNet

sexual (adj.)
of or relating to or characterized by sexuality;
sexual orientation
sexual distinctions
sexual (adj.)
having or involving sex;
sexual reproduction
sexual spores
sexual (adj.)
involved in a sexual relationship;
the intimate (or sexual) relations between husband and wife
Synonyms: intimate
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.