fair sex


Also found in: Thesaurus, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia.

fair sex

n
the fair sex women collectively

fair′ sex`


n.
usage: This term, though rarely used today, is sometimes perceived as patronizing.
n.
Older Use: Sometimes Offensive. women collectively.
[1680–90]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.fair sex - women as a class; "it's an insult to American womanhood"; "woman is the glory of creation"; "the fair sex gathered on the veranda"
social class, socio-economic class, stratum, class - people having the same social, economic, or educational status; "the working class"; "an emerging professional class"
womankind - women as distinguished from men
Translations

fair sex

n (old) (hum) the fair sexil gentil sesso
References in classic literature ?
It is almost impossible for one of them to write a line on the subject, however kindly he may do so, without being suspected of wishing to open a crusade against the fair sex. Despite the fact, therefore, that all Nietzsche's views in this respect were dictated to him by the profoundest love; despite Zarathustra's reservation in this discourse, that "with women nothing (that can be said) is impossible," and in the face of other overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Nietzsche is universally reported to have mis son pied dans le plat, where the female sex is concerned.
The group was formed for the most part of the fair sex. Hardly any one was there except old women.
And hence, I think, we may very fairly draw an argument, to prove how extremely natural virtue is to the fair sex; for, though there is not, perhaps, one in ten thousand who is capable of making a good actress, and even among these we rarely see two who are equally able to personate the same character, yet this of virtue they can all admirably well put on; and as well those individuals who have it not, as those who possess it, can all act it to the utmost degree of perfection.
Time and feeding had expanded that once romantic form; the black silk waistcoat had become more and more developed; inch by inch had the gold watch-chain beneath it disappeared from within the range of Tupman's vision; and gradually had the capacious chin encroached upon the borders of the white cravat: but the soul of Tupman had known no change --admiration of the fair sex was still its ruling passion.
It was plain that the commander admired his regiment, rejoiced in it, and that his whole mind was engrossed by it, yet his strut seemed to indicate that, besides military matters, social interests and the fair sex occupied no small part of his thoughts.
His politeness for the fair sex has already been hinted at by Miss Rebecca Sharp--in a word, the whole baronetage, peerage, commonage of England, did not contain a more cunning, mean, selfish, foolish, disreputable old man.
For some time he was quite general in his attentions to the fair sex, combining the gallantries of a lady's man with a severity of criticism on the person and manners of absent belles, which tended rather to stimulate in the feminine breast the desire to conquer the approval of so fastidious a judge.
The weakling and the saphead have often great ability to charm the fair sex, while the fighting man who can face a thousand real dangers unafraid, sits hiding in the shadows like some frightened child.
I remember how I, invariably so taciturn, suddenly fastened upon Zverkov, when one day talking at a leisure moment with his schoolfellows of his future relations with the fair sex, and growing as sportive as a puppy in the sun, he all at once declared that he would not leave a single village girl on his estate unnoticed, that that was his droit de seigneur, and that if the peasants dared to protest he would have them all flogged and double the tax on them, the bearded rascals.
"So!" thought the Gascon "here's a young blade who has already his love affair, who doesn't at all agree with Athos in his hatred to the fair sex. He's not going to hunt, for he has neither dogs nor arms; he's not going on a message, for he goes secretly.
This, however, was a slight inconvenience to the gallant Abbot, who, perhaps, even rejoicing in the opportunity to display his accomplished horsemanship before so many spectators, especially of the fair sex, dispensed with the use of these supports to a timid rider.
In the case of Sir John, I knew Lady Verinder to be, not only worthy of the unreserved trust which her husband had placed in her (all good wives are worthy of that)--but to be also capable of properly administering a trust (which, in my experience of the fair sex, not one in a thousand of them is competent to do).