adjective \ˈkwir\

Definition of QUEER

a :  worthless, counterfeit <queer money>
b :  questionable, suspicious
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
:  not quite well
queer·ish \-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



: to spoil or ruin (something)

Full Definition of QUEER

transitive verb
:  to spoil the effect or success of <queer one's plans>
:  to put or get into an embarrassing or disadvantageous situation

Examples of QUEER

  1. The sudden storm queered our plans.

First Known Use of QUEER

circa 1812



Definition of QUEER

:  one that is queer; especially often disparaging :  homosexual

Usage Discussion of QUEER

See Usage Discussion at 1queer

First Known Use of QUEER

circa 1812
QUEERISH Defined for Kids


adjective \ˈkwir\

Definition of QUEER for Kids

:  oddly unlike the usual or normal <Watching them, Charlie experienced a queer sense of danger. — Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory> <a queer smell>
queer·ly adverb


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