[ hoh-muh-sek-shoo-uh l or, esp. British, -seks-yoo- ]
/ ˌhoʊ məˈsɛk ʃu əl or, esp. British, -ˈsɛks yu- /


Older Use: Sometimes Disparaging. sexually attracted to members of one's own sex: homosexual students.
Older Use: Sometimes Disparaging. of or relating to sexual desire or behavior directed toward members of one's own sex: the homosexual subculture.
Archaic. of, relating to, or noting the same sex: pregnant with homosexual twins.


Older Use: Sometimes Disparaging. a homosexual person.


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Origin of homosexual

First recorded in 1890–95; homo- + sexual

usage note for homosexual

Up until 1986, homosexuality was listed in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), psychiatry's standard reference on the classification of mental illness. People aware of this former categorization may feel that the term homosexual stills carries a negative connotation. And some feel that this word places undue emphasis on sexual activity, or that it sounds overly clinical. In fact, homosexual as an adjective and noun is somewhat dated, except in medical and other formal contexts; the term gay has mostly replaced it. People who still use homosexual are usually unaware that the term may be a sensitive one, although some do use it with intent to cause offense. However, not all members of the gay community object to it. See also gay.


an·ti·ho·mo·sex·u·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for homosexual

British Dictionary definitions for homosexual

/ (ˌhəʊməʊˈsɛksjʊəl, ˌhɒm-) /


a person who is sexually attracted to members of the same sex


of or relating to homosexuals or homosexuality
of or relating to the same sex
Compare heterosexual
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

Medical definitions for homosexual

[ hō′mə-sĕkshōō-əl, -mō- ]


Of, relating to, or having a sexual orientation to persons of the same sex.


A homosexual person; a gay man or a lesbian.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.