follow Dictionary.com

Love words? Sign up for our Word of the Day!

fair sex

noun, Older Use: Sometimes Offensive.
1.
women as a group (usually used facetiously):
an insult to the fair sex.
Also, fairer sex.
Origin
1680-1690
1680-90
Usage note
This is a dated term, usually used for humorous effect. It uses the word fair in the sense of “physically attractive”; because it refers to a woman in terms of her appearance, it is sometimes perceived as demeaning.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for fair-sex

fair sex

noun
1.
the fair sex, women collectively
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
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with fair-sex

fair sex

Girls or women, as in Many women would object to being called the fair sex nowadays. This euphemism uses fair in the sense of “physically beautiful” and is probably dying out. [ Mid-1600s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for fair sex

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for fair

7
7
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with fair-sex