gay

adjective
\ ˈgā How to pronounce gay (audio) \

Definition of gay

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : happily excited : merry in a gay mood
b : keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits a bird's gay spring song
2a : bright, lively gay sunny meadows
b : brilliant in color
3 : given to social pleasures also : licentious
4a : of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex : homosexual gay men
b : of, relating to, or intended for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc. the gay rights movement a gay bar

gay

noun

Definition of gay (Entry 2 of 3)

: homosexual especially : a homosexual male

Gay

biographical name
\ ˈgā How to pronounce Gay (audio) \

Definition of Gay (Entry 3 of 3)

John 1685–1732 English poet and dramatist

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Other Words from gay

Adjective

gay adverb
gayness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for gay

Adjective

lively, animated, vivacious, sprightly, gay mean keenly alive and spirited. lively suggests briskness, alertness, or energy. a lively debate on the issues animated applies to what is spirited and active. an animated discussion of current events vivacious suggests an activeness of gesture and wit, often playful or alluring. a vivacious party host sprightly suggests lightness and spirited vigor of manner or wit. a tuneful, sprightly musical gay stresses complete freedom from care and overflowing spirits. the gay spirit of Paris in the 1920s

Examples of gay in a Sentence

Adjective

The band was playing a gay tune. the gayest of the spring flowers

Noun

a bar that is frequented by gays
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Of course, if elected, Buttigieg would become the first openly gay (and youngest) president. Melanie Hamlett, Glamour, "America Loves a Loser (As Long As He's White and Male)," 17 Apr. 2019 The list of luxe hotels below are owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who today implemented a violent anti-gay law that states those who commit homosexual acts are to be stoned to death. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Ellen DeGeneres Calls On Fans to Boycott These Famous Hotels," 3 Apr. 2019 Jay-Z shouted out his mother, Gloria Carter, who is openly gay and received a Special Recognition Award by GLAAD last year. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé Gave an Emotional Speech Honoring Her Uncle Who Suffered from HIV at the GLAAD Awards," 29 Mar. 2019 Despite his youth and local experience, the Internet has been fangirling over the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who is openly gay and married to husband Chasten Glezman. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Chasten Glezman, "Mayor Pete" Buttigieg's Husband, Is Super-Supportive," 18 Mar. 2019 While delivering their acceptance speech together, the couple paid tribute to openly gay members of their own family and called to end the stigma against queerness. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé Gave an Emotional Speech Honoring Her Uncle Who Suffered from HIV at the GLAAD Awards," 29 Mar. 2019 Breaking news: the gay Internet worked its normal magic and found Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s time of birth. Jeanna Kadlec, Allure, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Birth Chart, Explained," 26 Mar. 2019 While Empire decided to cut Smollett from the last two episodes of the season (which were still in production as the scandal unfolded), Smollett, who plays openly gay R&B star Jamal Lyon, will appear in the first seven episodes as per usual. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Jussie Smollett Will Be Back on Empire Tonight," 13 Mar. 2019 News broke this week that Nikki Joly, a transgender gay-rights activist in Jackson, Mich., has been charged with burning down his own home, seemingly for the purpose of presenting himself as the victim of anti-gay savagery. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Boomtown for Hoaxers," 28 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As a presidential candidate, Trump last year vowed to fight for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. Phil Stewart And Idrees Ali, Alaska Dispatch News, "No changes yet to military’s transgender policy, says top U.S. general," 27 July 2017 Gays and lesbians could now openly serve their country. Susan Davis, Cosmopolitan, "Why I'm Proud to Display the Pride Flag," 24 July 2017 It was set to hold one here in 2015, but moved it to Columbus, Ohio, as a protest against the Indiana legislature's passage of its religious-freedom law, which the church and others believed allowed discrimination against gays and lesbians. Dwight Adams, Indianapolis Star, "An Indy-based church of diversity elects first black woman to lead a major denomination," 13 July 2017 But at least one leading Mormon scholar said that the Boy Scouts and the church have been diverging on values in recent years and that the policy on gays was probably a contributing factor in the split. Brady Mccombs, The Denver Post, "Mormon church severs some of its ties to the Boy Scouts," 11 May 2017 “Some people in the alt-right are kind of like, ‘Women go back to the kitchen, gays go back in the closet’—like everything was great in the ’50s. I don’t believe that at all.” Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, "His Kampf," 14 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gay.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gay

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Noun

1953, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gay

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French gai, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German gāhi quick, sudden

Noun

derivative of gay entry 1

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Learn More about gay

Dictionary Entries near gay

gawney

gawp

gawsie

gay

Gay

Gaya

gayal

Statistics for gay

Last Updated

21 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gay

The first known use of gay was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for gay

gay

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of gay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: sexually attracted to someone who is the same sex
: of, relating to, or used by homosexuals
old-fashioned : happy and excited : cheerful and lively

gay

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gay (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person and especially a man who is homosexual

gay

adjective
\ ˈgā How to pronounce gay (audio) \
gayer; gayest

Kids Definition of gay

1 : merry sense 1, happy Setsu grew … into a gay, willful, pretty girl.— Pearl S. Buck, The Big Wave
2 : cheerful and lively They played a gay tune.
3 : brightly colored a gay dress

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More from Merriam-Webster on gay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gay

Spanish Central: Translation of gay

Nglish: Translation of gay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gay for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gay

Comments on gay

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