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1905, from sex (n.) + -y (2). Originally "engrossed in sex;" sense of "sexually attractive" is 1923, first in reference to Valentino. An earlier word in this sense was sexful (1898). Related: Sexier; sexiest.
Very appealing; exciting; desirable; stimulating: Acid rain is politically sexy, but it hasn't half the allure of jobs (1970+)