\ 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 One letter Hazard wrote in 1992 suggested gay people who had contracted AIDS deserved the life-threatening condition. SFChronicle.com, "News of the Day From Across the Nation," 24 Jan. 2020 While European Jews made up the largest group, about 6 million people, the Nazis and their collaborators also targeted others, including ethnic Romas and Slavs, gay people, trade unionists and people with disabilities. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Holocaust and genocide education would be required in Wisconsin schools under proposed bill," 22 Jan. 2020 Guatemalan officials told him gay people wouldn’t be safe there and advised him to go to Mexico instead, the complaint alleges. Juan Montes, WSJ, "U.S. Asylum Deal With Guatemala Faces First Legal Test," 15 Jan. 2020 The top 10 accounts run by the Russian operatives were designed to appeal to specific groups, including African Americans, veterans and gay people. Anchorage Daily News, "Bipartisan Senate report calls for effort to prevent Russian interference in 2020 election," 9 Oct. 2019 Sunday’s game drew gay people, trans people and straight people. Michael K. Mcintyre, cleveland.com, "Browns Backers with a Twist fly the rainbow flag, and wear the brown and orange, on game day," 15 Sep. 2019 There’s no lack of gay people that live down here, but [a] lack of places to socialize? Daily Pilot, "New Costa Mesa club seeks to electrify O.C.'s queer nightlife scene," 13 Sep. 2019 Friends acknowledged the existence of gay people, while not treating them as quite fully human. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The Mysteriously Enduring Appeal of Friends," 10 Sep. 2019 Some weeks the gay and lesbian newspaper had run more than 30 obituaries for AIDS victims, mostly gay men in their 30s and 40s and 50s. Dave Murphy, SFChronicle.com, "From ‘Goodnight Chet’ to being a Stan: Lingo lessons for the generations," 15 Jan. 2020 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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Time Traveler for gay

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for gay

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gay. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for gay

How to pronounce Gay (audio)

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
\ 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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