secondary sex characteristic

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secondary sex characteristic

n.
Any of various physical characteristics that differ between the sexes but do not have a direct reproductive function, appearing in humans at puberty and in other animals at sexual maturity or during the mating season. Also called secondary sexual characteristic.

sec′ondary sex′ characteris`tic



n.
any of a number of manifestations, as breasts or a beard, specific to each sex and incipient at puberty but not essential to reproduction.
[1925–30]

secondary sex characteristic

Any of the physical traits in a sexually mature animal that are not directly involved in the act of reproducing. They include breast development in female primates, facial-hair growth in young men, the growth of antlers in antelopes, and colorful plumage in male birds. The appearance of secondary sex characteristics is determined by the sex hormones.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.secondary sex characteristic - the genetically determined sex characteristics that are not functionally necessary for reproduction (pitch of the voice and body hair and musculature)
sex character, sex characteristic, sexual characteristic - those characteristics (both anatomical and psychological) that are strongly associated with one sex relative to the other