[ het-er-uh-sek-shoo-al-i-tee or, especially British, -seks-yoo- ]

  1. sexual desire or behavior directed toward people of the other binary gender.

  2. the state of being sexually attracted only to the other binary gender.

Origin of heterosexuality

First recorded in 1895–1900; hetero- + sexuality

Words Nearby heterosexuality

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

How to use heterosexuality in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for heterosexuality


/ (ˌhɛtərəʊˌsɛksjʊˈælɪtɪ) /

  1. sexual attraction to or sexual relations with a person or persons of the opposite sex: Compare homosexuality

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 heterosexuality


Sexual attraction between a male and a female. (Compare bisexuality and homosexuality.)

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.