adjective (gayer, gayest)
- 1(Of a person, especially a man) homosexual.More example sentences
homosexual, lesbian, sapphic, lesbigay, GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered)• rare homophile, UranianBritish • informal , • derogatory bent, poofyNorth American • informal , • derogatory fruitygay, lesbian, sapphic, lesbigay, GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered)• rare homophile, Uranian• informal pink, lavender, camp, lezzy, les, lesbo, butch, dykeyBritish • informal , • derogatory bent, poofyNorth American • informal , • derogatory fruity
- Knowing that my son is gay prompted me to consider the issue from another perspective.
- She admits that she only told her daughters she was gay three years ago.
- It's not exactly a secret that she is gay.
- 1.1Relating to or used by homosexuals: a gay barMore example sentences
- When I lived in Boston there were few gay bars, as everyone there just mixed in straight clubs.
- He goes on to say that the support of the gay community means the world to him.
- Their partnership was one of the first openly gay relationships portrayed in popular media.
- 2 • dated Light-hearted and carefree: Nan had a gay disposition and a very pretty faceMore example sentences
cheerful, cheery, merry, jolly, light-hearted, mirthful, jovial, glad, happy, bright, in good spirits, in high spirits, joyful, elated, exuberant, animated, lively, sprightly, vivacious, buoyant, bouncy, bubbly, perky, effervescent, playful, frolicsomeNorth American • informal as happy as a clam
- And she laughed, laughed at how happy, gay, and carefree her tone sounded.
- Some people cannot take criticism, and expect everything to always be happy and gay.
- Yes I know this must come as a shock to you since I am normally such a gay and carefree chap, brimming with chuckles and mirth.
- 3 • dated Brightly coloured; showy: a gay profusion of purple and pink sweet peasMore example sentences
- The picture was all the more poignant for me because of the stark contrast offered by the youngsters' skeletal bodies and the gay colours and rich decoration of their mothers' dresses.
- It was quite a sight, after the War and four years of dreary austerity in England, to see girls whirling round the dance floor in pretty full-length evening dresses in gay colours.
- So, uh, is the uniform jet black and sombre or colourful and gay?
nounBack to top
- A homosexual, especially a man.More example sentences
homosexual, lesbian, gay person, lesbigayAustralian • informal wonkSouth African • informal , • derogatory moffie
- The commission suspects hate crimes against gays, lesbians, and transgender people are under-reported.
- My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does, in every institution and walk of life.
- Discrimination against lesbians and gays in other areas of life is also commonplace.
- More example sentences
- After I came out, I had six friends telling me about their confusing feelings/crushes/potential gayness.
- Young people appear to be disclosing their gayness or lesbianism at ever-younger ages.
- I shouldn't have to defend my gayness in a gay magazine.
Middle English (in sense 2 of the adjective): from Old French gai, of unknown origin.
Gay meaning ‘homosexual’ became established in the 1960s as the term preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. It is now the standard accepted term throughout the English-speaking world. As a result, the centuries-old other senses of gay meaning either ‘carefree’ or ‘bright and showy’ have more or less dropped out of natural use. The word gay cannot be readily used today in these older senses without arousing a sense of double entendre, despite concerted attempts by some to keep them alive.Gay in its modern sense typically refers to men (lesbian being the standard term for homosexual women) but in some contexts it can be used of both men and women.