[het-er-uh-sek-shoo-uh l or, esp. British, -seks-yoo-]
  1. a heterosexual person.

Origin of heterosexual

First recorded in 1890–95; hetero- + sexual
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for heterosexual

Contemporary Examples of heterosexual

Historical Examples of heterosexual

British Dictionary definitions for heterosexual


  1. a person who is sexually attracted to the opposite sex
  1. of or relating to heterosexuality
Compare homosexual
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

Word Origin and History for heterosexual

1892, in C.G. Craddock's translation of Krafft-Ebbing's "Psychopathia Sexualis," a hybrid; see hetero- + sexual. The noun is recorded from 1920, but not in common use until 1960s. Colloquial shortening hetero is attested from 1933.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

heterosexual in Medicine


  1. Sexually oriented to persons of the opposite sex.
  1. A heterosexual person.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.