[ trans-sek-shoo-uh l or, esp. British, -seks-yoo- ]
/ trænsˈsɛk ʃu əl or, esp. British, -ˈsɛks yu- /


a person having a strong desire to assume the physical characteristics and gender role of the opposite sex.
a person who has undergone hormone treatment and surgery to attain the physical characteristics of the opposite sex.


of, relating to, or characteristic of transsexuals.

Nearby words

  1. transputer,
  2. transpyloric plane,
  3. transracial,
  4. transrectification,
  5. transrectifier,
  6. transsexualism,
  7. transship,
  8. transsonic,
  9. transsynaptic degeneration,
  10. transthoracic

Compare cissexual.

Origin of transsexual

1955–60; trans- + sexual, orig. in transsexualism (coined in 1953)

Related formstrans·sex·u·al·ism, trans·sex·u·al·i·ty, noun

Usage note Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for transsexuality



/ (trænzˈsɛksjʊəl) /


a person who permanently acts the part of and completely identifies with the opposite sex
a person who has undergone medical and surgical procedures to alter external sexual characteristics to those of the opposite sex
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 transsexuality


1957 (adj. and n.), from trans- + sexual, and cf. transsexualism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for transsexuality


[ trăns-sĕkshōō-əl ]


A person who strongly identifies with the opposite gender and who chooses to live as a member of the opposite gender or to become one by surgery.


Of or relating to such a person.
Relating to medical and surgical procedures designed to alter a person's external sexual characteristics so they resemble those of the opposite gender.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.