gay

adjective
\ ˈgā \

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 \

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

Franco, who was black and a lesbian, crusaded for black and gay causes. Sergio Ramalho, The Seattle Times, "Sister of slain Brazilian councilwoman calls for justice," 14 Jan. 2019 Davis and O’Callaghan didn’t hear from any current players, straight or gay, about the NFL’s Pride float. Jenny Vrentas, SI.com, "For Many NFL Players, Summer Doesn't Bring Much of a Break," 9 July 2018 Twitter is full of tribes: gay twitter, stan twitter, politics twitter, media twitter, weird twitter. Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic, "How Twitter Became Home to the Teen Status Update," 3 July 2018 There are straightedge moms in Michigan and gay doctors in Georgia, Mormons in Utah and surfers in California, all bonded in the creative pursuit of cookie. Alison Roman, The Seattle Times, "‘We are all connected by cookies’: A tribe with a bond stronger than royal icing," 12 Dec. 2018 Sharice Davids is not only Kansas’ first gay representative, but the first Native American woman ever elected to congress. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Midterm Election Results Explained," 7 Nov. 2018 As a gay immigrant of color, Mr. Sharma is in many ways the ultimate outsider. John “doc” Willoughby, WSJ, "What to Give: Books About Food," 15 Nov. 2018 America saw the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, the first two Native American women elected to Congress, and the first openly gay man elected as governor, among many more firsts. Michael Pincus, Teen Vogue, "Losing in the Midterm Elections Isn’t the End," 9 Nov. 2018 Democrat Jared Polis was the first openly gay man to be elected governor in US history, keeping the seat in Democratic hands, and Democrats also won the Colorado Senate to notch a new trifecta in the Rocky Mountains. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Democratic wins in these 9 states will have seismic policy consequences," 9 Nov. 2018

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

27 Jan 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 \
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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