noun, plural: sexes
(1) The assemblage of characters or qualities of being a male or a female in animals and plants.
(2) The genitals; the physical distinction between male and female.
(3) Coitus; sexual intercourse.
In biology, sex may refer to the gender (i.e. male or female variety). It may also pertain to the means by which gametes may be introduced to combine and mix the genes with the genes of the partner.
In regard to sex as gender, there are various ways to determine the sex of an organism:
- chromosomal sex
- nuclear sex
- gonadal sex
Word origin: L. Sexus: cf. F. Sexe.
See also: fertilization