Definition of gay in English:

gay

Line breaks: gay
Pronunciation: /geɪ
 
/

adjective (gayer, gayest)

  • 1(Of a person, especially a man) homosexual.
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    Synonyms
    homosexual, lesbian, sapphic, lesbigay, GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered)
    rare homophile, Uranian
    informal pink, lavender, camp, lezzy, les, lesbo, butch, dykey
    informal , • derogatory queer, limp-wristed, that way, swinging the other way, homo
    British informal , • derogatory bent, poofy
    North American informal , • derogatory fruity
    gay, lesbian, sapphic, lesbigay, GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered)
    rare homophile, Uranian
    informal pink, lavender, camp, lezzy, les, lesbo, butch, dykey
    informal , • derogatory queer, limp-wristed, that way, swinging the other way, homo
    British informal , • derogatory bent, poofy
    North American informal , • derogatory fruity
  • 1.1Relating to or used by homosexuals: a gay bar
    More 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.
  • 3 dated Brightly coloured; showy: a gay profusion of purple and pink sweet peas
    More 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?
    Synonyms
    bright, brightly coloured, vivid, brilliant, rich, vibrant; richly coloured, many-coloured, multicoloured; flamboyant, gaudy
  • 4 informal offensive Foolish, stupid, or unimpressive: he thinks the obsession with celebrity is totally gay

noun

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Derivatives

gayness

noun
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.

Origin

Middle English (in sense 2 of the adjective): from Old French gai, of unknown origin.

Usage

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.

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tease (someone) playfully