Other definitions for dyke (2 of 2)

[ dahyk ]

nounSlang: Disparaging and Offensive.
  1. a contemptuous term used to refer to a lesbian.

Origin of dyke

First recorded in 1940–45; earlier in form bulldike (with a variant bulldagger); of obscure origin; claimed to be a shortening of morphodyke (variant of morphodite, a reshaping of hermaphrodite), though morphodyke is more likely a blend of morphodite and a preexisting dyke; other hypothesized connections, such as with diked out or dike “ditch,” are dubious on semantic grounds
  • Also dike .

usage note For dyke

The terms dyke and bull dyke are used with disparaging intent and are perceived as insulting. However, they have been adopted as positive terms of self-reference by young or radical lesbians and in the academic community. In the mainstream gay community, lesbian and gay remain the terms of choice.

Other words from dyke

  • dyk·ey, adjective, dyk·i·er, dyk·i·est.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use dyke in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dyke (1 of 3)



/ (daɪk) /

  1. an embankment constructed to prevent flooding, keep out the sea, etc

  2. a ditch or watercourse

  1. a bank made of earth excavated for and placed alongside a ditch

  2. Scot a wall, esp a dry-stone wall

  3. a barrier or obstruction

  4. a vertical or near-vertical wall-like body of igneous rock intruded into cracks in older rock

  5. Australian and NZ informal

    • a lavatory

    • (as modifier): a dyke roll

  1. civil engineering an embankment or wall built to confine a river to a particular course

  2. (tr) to protect, enclose, or drain (land) with a dyke

Origin of dyke

C13: modification of Old English dic ditch; compare Old Norse dīki ditch

British Dictionary definitions for dyke (2 of 3)



/ (daɪk) /

  1. slang a lesbian

Origin of dyke

C20: of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for Dyke (3 of 3)


/ (dɑɪk) /

  1. Greg (ory). born 1947, British television executive; director-general of the BBC (2000–04)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012