[ sek-shoo-uhl or, especially British, seks-yoo- ]
See synonyms for sexual on
  1. of, relating to, or for sex: Publicly discussing sexual matters was frowned upon in those days.The store is known for selling sexual aids.

  2. occurring between or involving the sexes: In humans, melatonin concentrations are related to sexual maturation, with significant decreases occurring at the onset of puberty.

  1. having sexual organs or reproducing by processes involving both sexes: The patterns of genetic variation in sexual species tend to be very different from those in asexual species.

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Origin of sexual

First recorded in 1645–55; from Late Latin sexuālis, from sexu(s) sex + -ālis -al1

Other words from sexual

  • sex·u·al·ly, adverb
  • an·ti·sex·u·al, adjective
  • an·ti·sex·u·al·ly, adverb
  • non·sex·u·al, adjective, noun
  • non·sex·u·al·ly, adverb
  • un·sex·u·al, adjective
  • un·sex·u·al·ly, adverb

Words Nearby sexual

Other definitions for -sexual (2 of 2)


  1. a combining form extracted from heterosexual and homosexual, used to describe a person's sexual orientation or identity:pansexual;polysexual.

  2. a combining form extracted from metrosexual, used to describe a person's lifestyle, appearance, or way of dressing with regard to attracting or choosing a romantic partner:vegansexual;lumbersexual. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use sexual in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sexual


/ (ˈsɛksjʊəl) /

  1. of, relating to, or characterized by sex or sexuality

  2. (of reproduction) characterized by the union of male and female gametes: Compare asexual (def. 2)

Origin of sexual

C17: from Late Latin sexuālis; see sex

Derived forms of sexual

  • sexually, 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