verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Determine the sex of.

    ‘each bird would need to be individually sexed’
    • ‘Offspring were sexed at emergence and maintained in single-sex cultures.’
    • ‘We aged and sexed all birds captured and marked individuals with one aluminum federal band and a unique combination of three color bands.’
    • ‘Animals could be sexed 1 year from birth using our enhanced feeding protocols.’
    • ‘I think they came over because they were more adept at sexing chickens than we were.’
    • ‘We collected pupae and sexed them by the morphology of the eighth abdominal segment.’
  • 2sex something upinformal Present something in a more interesting or lively way.

    • ‘As a result, ordinary academic books have been sexed up by mainstream publishers and heavily promoted in the mass market.’
    • ‘‘There's a danger of treating the election as if it's boring so that you have to sex it up,’ he said, at today's official launch of the BBC's election night coverage.’
    • ‘They have really gone out of their way to sex this series up.’
    • ‘Apparently, they accused the Government of sexing things up.’
    • ‘His first couple of books were mysteries, and she said she liked them well enough, but by the time he started his third novel he was agitated about the lackluster sales, so he tried sexing things up.’
    • ‘Six days later He gave evidence and said it was untrue the dossier had been sexed up or that the government had pressured intelligence agencies.’
    • ‘‘The dossier was not sexed up by him or anyone else,’ said the committee.’
    • ‘Gilligan had a genuine scoop - but made the mistake of sexing it up a notch too far.’
    • ‘In his historical pastiche, Wells elects to take the past and sex it up a little.’
    • ‘There is little attempt to sex things up for a restless modern audience or indulge in self-conscious irony.’
  • 3sex someone upinformal Arouse or attempt to arouse someone sexually.

    • ‘I can easily sleep with him, not sex him up, but just sleep, peacefully, in the same bed.’

Usage

On the difference in use between the words sex (in sense 2 above) and gender, see gender