• synonyms


  1. an individual having reproductive organs or external sexual characteristics of both male and female.
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  1. noting or relating to such an individual; intersexual.
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Origin of intersex

First recorded in 1915–20; back formation from intersexual

Usage note

See gender1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for intersex


  1. the condition of having characteristics intermediate between those of a male and a female
  2. an individual, esp a person, exhibiting such physiological characteristicsCompare gynandromorph, hermaphrodite (def. 1), hermaphrodite (def. 2)
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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 intersex


"one having characteristics of both sexes," 1917, from German intersexe (1915); see inter- + sex. Coined by German-born U.S. geneticist Richard Benedict Goldschmidt (1878-1958). Related: Intersexual; intersexuality.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper