dyke

1
[ dahyk ]
/ daɪk /

noun, verb, dyked, dyk·ing.

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Definition for dyke (2 of 2)

dyke2
[ dahyk ]
/ daɪk /

noun Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.

a contemptuous term used to refer to a lesbian.
Also dike .

Origin of dyke

2
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

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. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for dyke (1 of 3)

dyke1

dike

/ (daɪk) /

noun

verb

civil engineering an embankment or wall built to confine a river to a particular course
(tr) to protect, enclose, or drain (land) with a dyke

Word Origin for dyke

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

British Dictionary definitions for dyke (2 of 3)

dyke2

dike

/ (daɪk) /

noun

slang a lesbian

Word Origin for dyke

C20: of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for dyke (3 of 3)

Dyke
/ (dɑɪk) /

noun

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