heterosexual

adjective
het·​ero·​sex·​u·​al | \ ˌhe-tə-rō-ˈsek-sh(ə-)wəl , -ˈsek-shəl\

Definition of heterosexual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward the opposite sex
b : of, relating to, or involving sexual intercourse between individuals of opposite sex
2 : of or relating to different sexes

heterosexual

noun

Definition of heterosexual (Entry 2 of 2)

: a heterosexual person

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Other Words from heterosexual

Adjective

heterosexuality \ ˌhe-​tə-​rō-​ˌsek-​shə-​ˈwa-​lə-​tē \ noun
heterosexually \ ˌhe-​tə-​rō-​ˈsek-​sh(ə-​)wə-​lē , -​ˈsek-​shə-​lē \ adverb

Examples of heterosexual in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

One scientist outside the government was more important than any other heterosexual in New York City in sounding the alarm about the growing crisis. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "Mathilde Krim, Mobilizing Force in an AIDS Crusade, Dies at 91," 16 Jan. 2018 This did not apply to heterosexual unmarried couples. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The US won’t give visas to same-sex partners of UN officials anymore," 2 Oct. 2018 Since women in heterosexual couples typically marry men two or three years older, that means married women leave the workforce at younger ages. Liz Weston, The Seattle Times, "How women who retire with their husbands often lose out," 17 Sep. 2018 The report found that LGBT seniors were three to four times less likely to have children than their heterosexual peers. Robert Weisman, BostonGlobe.com, "Gay boomers look ahead to an old age colored by uncertainty and the help of friends," 9 June 2018 According to a 2015 report by Act for Youth Center of Excellence, multiple studies show LGBT youth are more likely to have an unplanned pregnancy or be involved in one than their heterosexual peers. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Arizona groups offer health, housing help to LGBT youth," 14 July 2018 Fewer heterosexual Americans are marrying, gays have begun to do so, women and transgender people are playing important roles in the workplace and demanding wage and benefit equality. Jeff Sommer, New York Times, "Women Outlive Men. Why Do They Retire Earlier?," 6 July 2018 Gay people were advised to be celibate or enter heterosexual marriages. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "In Focus: ‘Believer’ aims to convert the faithful," 21 June 2018 The government has begun public consultations on the proposed law, which would offer some of the rights enjoyed by married heterosexual couples, including the right to jointly adopt children. James Hookway, WSJ, "Thai Junta Lite: Election Season Brings Push for Medical Pot, Same-Sex Unions," 12 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At the time, shows like Donahue and Oprah showed the vitriol that many heterosexuals aimed at gay people. S. D. Chrismon, The Root, "‘It Gets Better’: The Lie We Tell LGBTQ Youths," 15 June 2018 The eight new infections, all diagnosed since February, involve individuals described to be heterosexuals, drug users and recently homeless, The Seattle Times reported. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Cluster of HIV cases in North Seattle prompt concern of potential outbreak," 31 Aug. 2018 Yet other configurations are certainly possible, given that heterosexuals aren’t the only ones doing the seducing, as well as the heightened gatekeeping demanded of us all these days. Laura Kipnis, The Cut, "Should There Be a Future for Seduction?," 10 June 2018 Research suggests that some people in the LGBT community are more likely to have certain chronic conditions and face higher prevalence and earlier onset of disabilities compared to heterosexuals, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Froedtert Health and Medical College of Wisconsin to open clinic that focuses on LGBTQ community," 8 June 2018 National lawmakers are negotiating a revision of the criminal code, including provisions pushed by Islamic parties that would imprison gay people or unmarried cohabiting heterosexuals. Anita Rachman, WSJ, "Indonesia’s Islamic Floggings Will Move Indoors Where Kids Can’t See," 12 Apr. 2018 Now the 27-year-old delegate argued against him, never mentioning his name, urging a ban on the practice of trying to convert young gay, lesbian or transgender people into heterosexuals. Erin Cox, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland delegate says her parents, including a state senator, pushed her to use conversion therapy," 5 Apr. 2018 He has been counted as among the first to demonstrate the AIDS virus could spread among heterosexuals, and argued early in the epidemic that AIDS wasn't a threat only to gay men and injection drug users. Mike Stobbe, chicagotribune.com, "Leading AIDS researcher selected as new CDC director," 22 Mar. 2018 In this framework, there is one original sinner: white male heterosexuals — either alive or haunting us from the grave in the form of the Dead White Men studied in old Western Civilization courses. Joshua Mitchell, National Review, "The Identity-Politics Death Grip," 26 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heterosexual.' 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 heterosexual

Adjective

1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1892, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for heterosexual

Adjective

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Statistics for heterosexual

Last Updated

15 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heterosexual

The first known use of heterosexual was in 1892

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More Definitions for heterosexual

heterosexual

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of heterosexual

: sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex
: based on sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex

heterosexual

adjective
het·​ero·​sex·​u·​al | \ ˌhet-ə-rō-ˈseksh-(ə-)wəl, -ˈsek-shəl \

Medical Definition of heterosexual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward individuals of the opposite sex — compare homosexual sense 1
b : of, relating to, or involving sexual intercourse between a male and a female sexual relationships between individuals of opposite sexes are heterosexual— A. C. Kinsey — compare homosexual sense 2
2 : of or relating to different sexes

Other Words from heterosexual

heterosexually \ -​ˈseksh-​(ə-​)wə-​lē, -​ˈsek-​shə-​lē \ adverb

heterosexual

noun

Medical Definition of heterosexual (Entry 2 of 2)

: a heterosexual individual

More from Merriam-Webster on heterosexual

Spanish Central: Translation of heterosexual

Nglish: Translation of heterosexual for Spanish Speakers

Comments on heterosexual

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