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fair sex

or fairer sex

noun, Older Use: Sometimes Offensive.
1.
women as a group (usually used facetiously):
an insult to the fair sex.
Origin of fair sex
1680-1690
First recorded in 1680-90
Usage note
This is a dated term, usually used for humorous effect. It uses the word fair in the sense of “physically attractive”; because it refers to a woman in terms of her appearance, it is sometimes perceived as demeaning.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fair sex
Historical Examples
  • His early vow to ruin as many of the fair sex as he can get into his power.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • The prisoners were aided in their excesses by the enthusiasm of the fair sex.

  • The little girl had followed her into this retreat, sacred to the fair sex.

    Carmen Prosper Merimee
  • It can be said of Jeypore's fair sex that they are bimetallists in the strictest sense.

    East of Suez Frederic Courtland Penfield
  • Not that Sir Percy Blakeney was unpopular with the fair sex.

    The Elusive Pimpernel Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • But supported as I was by the fair sex, I cared little for them.

    The Privateersman Frederick Marryat
  • You were always just a little inclined to be led away by the fair sex.

    The Double Four E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • The fair sex will start at this proposition; but it is nevertheless true.

    Frank Mildmay Captain Frederick Marryat
  • In reply I will say that only two members of the fair sex have been graduated with us.

  • As we know, he was rather too effusive in his relations with the fair sex.

    Bardell v. Pickwick Percy Fitzgerald
British Dictionary definitions for fair sex

fair sex

noun
1.
the fair sex, women collectively
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with fair sex

fair sex

Girls or women, as in Many women would object to being called the fair sex nowadays. This euphemism uses fair in the sense of “physically beautiful” and is probably dying out. [ Mid-1600s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Difficulty index for fair sex

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for fair

7
7
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