[bahy-sek-shoo-uh l]
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  1. Biology.
    1. of both sexes.
    2. combining male and female organs in one individual; hermaphroditic.
  2. noting or relating to a person who is romantically or sexually attracted to both men and women, or to people of various gender identities; ambisexual.
  1. Biology. an animal or plant that has the reproductive organs of both sexes.
  2. a person who is romantically or sexually attracted to both men and women, or to people of various gender identities; ambisexual.

Origin of bisexual

First recorded in 1815–25; bi-1 + sexual
Related formsbi·sex·u·al·i·ty, bi·sex·u·al·ism, nounbi·sex·u·al·ly, adverb

Usage note

Traditionally bisexual has referred to romantic or sexual attraction to two, and no more than two, genders, specifically male and female. However, the term is increasingly being used to refer to a level of sexual fluidity in which an individual moves bidirectionally along a spectrum of sexuality. This newer sense accounts for attraction to people who do not fall within the gender binary. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for bisexual


  1. sexually attracted by both men and women
  2. showing characteristics of both sexesa bisexual personality
  3. (of some plants and animals) having both male and female reproductive organs
  4. of or relating to both sexes
  1. a bisexual organism; a hermaphrodite
  2. a bisexual person
Derived Formsbisexuality (baɪˌsɛksjʊˈælɪtɪ) or esp US bisexualism, nounbisexually, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for bisexual

1824, "having both sexes in one being, hermaphroditic," from bi- + sexual. Meaning "attracted to both sexes" is from 1914; the noun in this sense is attested from 1922. Not in general use until 1950s. Noun is recorded from 1922. Ambisexual was suggested 1924 in this sense but never caught on.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bisexual in Medicine


  1. Relating to both sexes.
  2. Having both male and female reproductive organs; hermaphroditic.
  3. Relating to or having a sexual orientation to persons of either sex.
  1. A bisexual organism; a hermaphrodite.
  2. A bisexual person.
Related formsbi′sex•u•ali•ty (-ălĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.