Meaning of homo


The genus that includes modern humans is called Homo. “Homo sapiens” are modern humans. Our ancestors had names like “Homo neanderthalensis” and “Homo erectus.”

Homo is a Latin word that means man, or human. When it is used as a prefix, as in “homosexual,” it comes from the Greek word homos, meaning the same. It is from the word “homosexual” that the noun homo is shortened and takes its second meaning — a derogatory term for a homosexual or gay man. Its use is offensive, and you should use other terms instead. It is spelled with a lowercase h in this use.

Definitions of homo
  1. noun

    any living or extinct member of the family Hominidae characterized by superior intelligence, articulate speech, and erect carriage


    human, human being, man

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    human beings, human race, humanity, humankind, humans, man, mankind, world

    all of the living human inhabitants of the earth
    Homo erectus

    extinct species of primitive hominid with upright stature but small brain
    Homo soloensis

    extinct primitive hominid of late Pleistocene; Java; formerly Javanthropus
    Homo habilis

    extinct species of upright East African hominid having some advanced humanlike characteristics
    Homo sapiens

    the only surviving hominid; species to which modern man belongs; bipedal primate having language and ability to make and use complex tools; brain volume at least 1400 cc
    Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, Neandertal, Neandertal man, Neanderthal, Neanderthal man

    extinct robust human of Middle Paleolithic in Europe and western Asia
    Homo rhodesiensis, Rhodesian man

    a primitive hominid resembling Neanderthal man but living in Africa
    Java man, Trinil man

    fossil remains found in Java; formerly called Pithecanthropus erectus
    Peking man

    fossils found near Beijing, China; they were lost during World War II
    Solo man

    early man of late Pleistocene; skull resembles that of Neanderthal man but with smaller cranial capacity; found in Java

    extinct human of Upper Paleolithic in Europe
    Boskop man

    possible early Homo sapiens represented by a cranium found in the Transvaal; formerly considered a separate species
    Homo sapiens sapiens, modern man

    subspecies of Homo sapiens; includes all modern races
    type of:


    a primate of the family Hominidae

  2. noun

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


    gay, 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

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