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

Inside were trigger-happy wise guys, a heretofore unexcavated piece of gay history and a lady who took charge of her own destiny while living in a world run by violent, retribution-crazed men. Margy Rochlin, Los Angeles Times, "Why a mafia wife’s story unearthed in ‘Mob Queens’ podcast is part of queer history too," 16 Sep. 2019 For to revisit the plight of a 21-year-old gay student attacked in his native Wyoming, then abandoned, is to realize anew the consequences of hate. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Review: ‘Considering Matthew Shepard’ more striking with lessons of hope on Ravinia’s bigger stage," 13 Sep. 2019 Although Carlos is taken under the wing of a gay artist, Nico (Mauro Sánchez Navarro), who’s clearly attracted to him, the question of his own sexuality is trickier to parse, at least initially. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘This Is Not Berlin’ vividly conjures a bygone Mexican counterculture," 12 Sep. 2019 Also, audiences seem to really like Joaquin Phoenix's Joker and Kristen Stewart would like to play a gay superhero. Wired, "It Chapter Two Ruled the Box Office This Weekend," 9 Sep. 2019 McKrae Game, the founder of conversion therapy ministry Hope for Wholeness, came out as gay in June and recently took to social media to ask for forgiveness for his years in ex-gay ministries. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "'I was wrong! Please forgive me!': Conversion therapy leader comes out as gay," 3 Sep. 2019 His study, which analysed the genomes of 40 pairs of gay brothers, looked exclusively at people who identified as homosexual. Sara Reardon, Scientific American, "Massive Study Finds No Single Genetic Cause of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior," 29 Aug. 2019 Who knew that one of the earliest British history plays was a gay love story? Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Top Baltimore arts events for fall 2019," 29 Aug. 2019 In 2009, Jesse became part of the beloved sitcom Modern Family as Mitchell Pritchett—a gay lawyer, protective father, and loving husband. Selena Barrientos, House Beautiful, "Jesse Tyler Ferguson's Net Worth Proves the 'Modern Family' Star Has Incredible Work Ethic," 8 July 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

22 Sep 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

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