queer

[ kweer ]
/ kwɪər /
|||

Usage alert

Since the early 20th century, queer has had the meaning “gay or lesbian,” and for much of the time has been used with disparaging intent and perceived as insulting. Since the 1980s, queer has increasingly been adopted especially among younger members of the gay and lesbian community as a positive term of self-reference. However, the term is not universally accepted within the LGBT community, and might still be viewed by some as degrading. Queer is also a term used by activists and academics: queer politics; scholars of queer literature. And the term has more recently come to include any person whose sexuality or gender identity falls outside the heterosexual mainstream or the gender binary. A person identifying as queer can be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, gender-fluid, etc., but the use of queer avoids any specific label.

adjective, queer·er, queer·est.

verb (used with object)

noun

Slang.
  1. Disparaging and Offensive. a term used to refer to a a person who is gay or lesbian.
  2. a person whose sexual orientation or gender identity falls outside the heterosexual mainstream or the gender binary.
Slang. counterfeit money.

Idioms

    queer the pitch, British Informal. to spoil the chances of success.

Origin of queer

1500–10; perhaps < German quer oblique, cross, adverse
Related formsqueer·ly, adverbqueer·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for queer

British Dictionary definitions for queer

queer

/ (kwɪə) /

adjective


noun

informal, taboo a homosexual, usually a male

verb (tr) informal

to spoil or thwart (esp in the phrase queer someone's pitch)
to put in a difficult or dangerous position
Derived Formsqueerish, adjectivequeerly, adverbqueerness, noun

Word Origin for queer

C16: perhaps from German quer oblique, ultimately from Old High German twērh

usage

Although the term queer meaning homosexual is still considered highly offensive when used by non-homosexuals, it is often used by homosexuals themselves as a positive term, as in queer politics, queer cinema
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