gay

adjective
\ ˈgā How to pronounce gay (audio) \

Definition of gay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or characterized by sexual or romantic attraction to people of one's same sex gay men a gay woman in her 40s often used to refer to men only gay and lesbian members of the community
b : of, relating to, or intended for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc. the gay rights movement a gay bar
2a : happily excited : merry in a gay mood
b : keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits a bird's gay spring song
3a : bright, lively gay sunny meadows
b : brilliant in color
4 : given to social pleasures also : licentious

gay

noun
plural gays

Definition of gay (Entry 2 of 2)

sometimes disparaging + offensive, see usage paragraph below : a gay person especially : a gay man

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

Usage of Gay

Noun

Use of the noun gay to refer to a particular person the author is a gay or particular people they are both gays is commonly considered offensive. Instead, phrases that employ the adjective are preferred, as in a gay author , they are both gay , etc. The noun does, however, function as a neutral or positive self-descriptor, and in its plural form is common especially in phrases with other plural nouns that relate to sexual orientation and gender identity, as in the rights of gays and lesbians . It is also sometimes used neutrally to refer in a general way to gay people, as in gays serving in the military .

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Balint, who is gay and is Vermont’s first woman and first out leader of the state Senate, would also be the first out member of Congress to represent the state. Barbara Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 8 Aug. 2022 Walker raised her two sons, who are gay, in Vinton in a house near the library. Zachary Schermele, NBC News, 4 Aug. 2022 On one end was Donald Trump; on the other was Pete Buttigieg, the Democratic transportation secretary, who is gay. Hannah Knowles, Anchorage Daily News, 31 July 2022 On one end was Donald Trump; on the other was Pete Buttigieg, the Democratic transportation secretary, who is gay. Hannah Knowles, BostonGlobe.com, 30 July 2022 Tom) Das is an MD-PhD student at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City who has been barred from blood donation for being gay. Lala Tanmoy Das, CNN, 19 July 2022 The actor confirmed that his character on the Netflix mega hit is gay, verifying seasons' worth of teases and overt hints. Nick Romano, EW.com, 15 July 2022 But there were some great moments in the two-part finale including Will’s speech to Mike that was really about him almost certainly being gay and not actually about Eleven. Erik Kain, Forbes, 6 July 2022 Will, who the series has hinted is secretly gay and might harbor feelings for Mike, remains vaguely drawn. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 6 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of gay

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

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

Learn More About gay

Time Traveler for gay

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near gay

gawsie

gay

Gay

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Statistics for gay

Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gay. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for gay

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

gay

adjective
\ ˈgā How to pronounce gay (audio) \

Medical Definition of gay

1 : of, relating to, or characterized by sexual or romantic attraction to individuals of one's same sex gay men a gay woman in her 40s often used to refer to men only gay and lesbian members of the community
2 : of, relating to, or intended for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc. gay issues

Gay biographical name

\ ˈgā How to pronounce Gay (audio) \

Definition of Gay

John 1685–1732 English poet and dramatist

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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