Meaning of gay


Gay is a word with many meanings. A gay person is homosexual, but if we describe something like a scene or a party as gay, that means it’s bright, merry, and happy.

Gay originally meant excited, festive and merry. Skipping down the street is something you’d do in a gay mood. A fun dinner party could be described as full of laughter and gaiety. Gay really only came to mean homosexual in the last century. The fight for gay rights doesn’t mean a fight for the right to be festive, it means a fight against discrimination.

Definitions of gay
  1. noun

    someone who practices homosexuality; having a sexual attraction to persons of the same sex


    homo, homophile, homosexual

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    gay man, shirtlifter

    a homosexual man
    gay woman, lesbian, tribade

    a female homosexual
    closet queen

    a negative term for a homosexual man who chooses not to reveal his sexual orientation
    type of:

    individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul

    a human being

  2. adjective

    homosexual or arousing homosexual desires


    homophile, queer


    sexually attracted to members of your own sex
  3. adjective

    given to social pleasures often including dissipation

    “led a
    gay Bohemian life”
    gay old rogue with an eye for the ladies”


    characterized by or given to yielding to the wishes of someone
  4. adjective

    bright and pleasant; promoting a feeling of cheer

    gay sunny room”

    cheery, sunny


    being full of or promoting cheer; having or showing good spirits
  5. adjective

    offering fun and gaiety

    gay and exciting night life”

    festal, festive, merry


    full of or characterized by joy
  6. adjective

    full of or showing high-spirited merriment

    “when hearts were young and
    “”a poet could not but be
    gay, in such a jocund company”- Wordsworth”

    jocund, jolly, jovial, merry, mirthful


    full of or characterized by joy
  7. adjective

    brightly colored and showy

    “a dress a bit too
    gay for her years”
    “birds with
    gay plumage”

    brave, braw

    colorful, colourful

    striking in variety and interest

Word Family

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