Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

queer

play
adjective \ˈkwir\

Definition of queer

  1. 1 a :  worthless, counterfeit <queer money> b :  questionable, suspicious

  2. 2 a :  differing in some odd way from what is usual or normal b (1) :  eccentric, unconventional (2) :  mildly insane :  touched c :  absorbed or interested to an extreme or unreasonable degree :  obsessed d (1) often disparaging :  homosexual (2) sometimes offensive :  gay 4b

  3. 3 :  not quite well

queer·ish play \-ish\ adjective
queer·ly adverb
queer·ness noun


Usage Discussion of queer

Over the past two decades, an important change has occurred in the use of queer in sense 2d. The older, strongly pejorative use has certainly not vanished, but a use by some gay people and some academics as a neutral or even positive term has established itself. This development is most noticeable in the adjective but is reflected in the corresponding noun as well. The newer use is sometimes taken to be offensive, especially by older gay men who fostered the acceptance of gay in these uses and still have a strong preference for it.

Examples of queer

  1. The sky was a queer shade of red.

  2. I had a queer feeling that something bad was about to happen.



Origin of queer

origin unknown


First Known Use: 1508


2

queer

verb

Simple Definition of queer

  • : to spoil or ruin (something)

Full Definition of queer

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to spoil the effect or success of <queer one's plans>

  3. 2 :  to put or get into an embarrassing or disadvantageous situation

Examples of queer

  1. The sudden storm queered our plans.



Circa 1812

First Known Use of queer

circa 1812


3

queer

noun

Definition of queer

  1. :  one that is queer; especially often disparaging :  homosexual



Usage Discussion of queer

See Usage Discussion at 1queer


Circa 1812

First Known Use of queer

circa 1812



Learn More about queer


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up queer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds 100 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ