homosexual

[ hoh-muh-sek-shoo-uhl or, especially British, -seks-yoo- ]
/ ˌhoʊ məˈsɛk ʃu əl or, especially British, -ˈsɛks yu- /

usage alert about homosexual

Up until 1973, 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 feel that the term homosexual still carries a negative connotation. And many feel that this word places undue emphasis on sexual activity, or that it sounds overly clinical. In fact, homosexual as an adjective and noun has been mostly replaced by gay except in medical or other formal contexts. People who still use homosexual are usually unaware that the term is 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.

adjective

Often Disparaging and Offensive. sexually attracted to members of one's own sex; gay: homosexual couples.
Often Disparaging and Offensive. 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: to give birth to homosexual twins.

noun

Often Disparaging and Offensive. a person, especially a male, who is sexually attracted to members of the same sex.

QUIZZES

DON’T VACILLATE! VANQUISH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

It’d be a real faux pas to miss this quiz on the words from August 3–9, 2020!
Question 1 of 7
What does “vacillate” mean?

Origin of homosexual

First recorded in 1890–95; homo- + sexual

OTHER WORDS FROM homosexual

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

homosexual
/ (ˌhəʊməʊˈsɛksjʊəl, ˌhɒm-) /

noun

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

adjective

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

homosexual
[ hō′mə-sĕkshōō-əl, -mō- ]

adj.

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

n.

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.