of, relating to, or being a person who is sexually or romantically attracted to people of their own sex or gender: A gay couple strolled by on the boardwalk.
of, relating to, or being a person who is sexually or romantically attracted only to people of their own sex or gender: Gay and bisexual men are both discussed in this study.
of, indicating, or supporting interests or issues pertaining to gay people or the gay community: He gives charitable contributions to a gay organization.
Older Use. having or showing a merry, lively mood: gay spirits; gay music.
Older Use. bright or showy: gay colors; gay ornaments.
(used especially of women and especially in poetry) beautiful, lofty, noble, or excellent: The learned man hath got the lady gay.
excellent; topnotch: a gay and lofty mind.
Older Use. given to or abounding in social or other pleasures: a gay social season; the Gay Nineties.
Older Use. sexually unrestrained; having loose morals: In the 1930s movie, the baron is referred to as “a gay old rogue with an eye for the ladies.”
Slang: Older Use. inappropriately forward or bold; overly familiar; reckless: George got gay at the Christmas party and suddenly swept his boss's wife onto the dance floor.
Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. awkward, stupid, or bad.
a person, especially a man, who is sexually or romantically attracted to people of the same sex or gender.
a person, especially a man, who is sexually or romantically attracted exclusively to people of the same sex or gender.
in a gay manner.
It has been argued that gay in the sense “awkward, stupid, or bad” is independent of the sexual sense, and therefore not homophobic. This argument is weakened by the fact that the sexual meaning has long been the dominant one, and thus permeates all usages of gay. See also homosexual.
As more specific labels, gay and lesbian often mean exclusive attraction to the same gender, and may be used in contrast with terms like bisexual. And gay can also be used to refer to only men who are attracted to men (exclusively or not), in contrast to lesbian, which only refers to women. Other terms, such as sapphic for women, are sometimes used to be unambiguously inclusive of people attracted to multiple genders.
- gay·ness, noun
- non·gay, adjective
Other definitions for Gay (2 of 2)
John, 1685–1732, English poet and dramatist.
a female or male given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use gay in a sentence
“I do not support gay marriages being recognized in Florida,” he wrote Andrew Walther of Sanford.
That man was Xavier Cortada, a gay man who wrote of his frustration that he and his partner of eight years were unable to marry.
Some gay apps, like the newer Mister, have not subscribed to the community/tribe model.
Meanwhile, in Florida, Bush was flooded with questions about whether gay marriage could possibly come to the Sunshine State.
In the 70s, this myth kept openly gay people out of teaching positions.Freaking Out About Age Gaps in Gay Relationships Is Homophobic | Samantha Allen | January 9, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Am I not in France—gay, delightful France—partaking of the kindness and civility of the country?
After a moment's silence, the cavaliers both burst into a gay laugh.
Never had Tom seen his gay and careless cousin in such guise: he was restless, silent, intense and inarticulate.The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
If it had not been for the presence of Mademoiselle Stéphanie, it would not have been gay for Aristide.The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol | William J. Locke
The box of the diplomatic corps was just opposite us, and our gay little Mrs. F. sat in it dressed in white satin.Music-Study in Germany | Amy Fay
British Dictionary definitions for gay (1 of 2)
of or for homosexuals: a gay club
carefree and merry: a gay temperament
brightly coloured; brilliant: a gay hat
given to pleasure, esp in social entertainment: a gay life
- gayness, noun
British Dictionary definitions for Gay (2 of 2)
John. 1685–1732, English poet and dramatist; author of The Beggar's Opera (1728)
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
Cultural definitions for gay
Descriptive term for homosexuals.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.