word-forming element meaning "across, beyond, through, on the other side of, to go beyond," from Latin trans (prep.) "across, over, beyond," perhaps originally present participle of a verb *trare-, meaning "to cross," from PIE *tra-, variant of root *tere- (2) "cross over, pass through, overcome." In chemical use indicating "a compound in which two characteristic groups are situated on opposite sides of an axis of a molecule" [Flood].
1650s, "of or pertaining to the fact of being male or female," from Late Latin sexualis "relating to sex," from Latin sexus (see sex (n.)). Meaning "pertaining to copulation or generation" is from 1766; sexual intercourse attested by 1771; sexual orientation by 1967; sexual harassment by 1975. Sexual revolution attested by 1962. Sexual politics is from 1970. Related: Sexually.