View synonyms for unsex


[ uhn-seks ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to render (an animal or person) unable to reproduce sexually, as by removing the testicles or ovaries:

    A gelding is a male horse that has been unsexed and cannot breed.

  2. to deprive (oneself or another person) of the qualities or character considered typical or desirable for one's gender:

    Those against female suffrage claimed that the right to vote would unsex women, leaving them unable to care for their homes and children.


/ ʌnˈsɛks /


  1. literary.
    to deprive (a person) of the attributes of his or her sex, esp to make a woman more callous

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Word History and Origins

Origin of unsex1

First recorded in 1595–1605; un- 2 + sex

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Example Sentences

It is a mistaken idea to suppose that to become an accomplished horse-woman a lady must unsex herself.

Can a ballot in the hand of woman and dignity on her brow, more unsex her than do a scepter and a crown?

Their unnatural attempt to be wiser than God, and to unsex themselves, had done little but disease their mind and heart.

Many Socialists, in giving to woman equality with man as a wage-earner and voter, wish to unsex her completely.

Clergymen lay aside their Bibles, and females unsex themselves, to carry on this horrid warfare against slave holders.


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