ho·​mo·​sex·​u·​al | \ ˌhō-mə-ˈsek-sh(ə-)wəl How to pronounce homosexual (audio) , -ˈsek-shəl\

Definition of homosexual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex : gay a homosexual man was involved in a homosexual relationship
2 : of, relating to, or involving sexual activity between persons of the same sex homosexual acts



Definition of homosexual (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who is sexually attracted to people of the same sex : a homosexual (see homosexual entry 1) person and especially a male

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Other Words from homosexual


homosexually adverb

Examples of homosexual in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Learning the terms heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual in sixth grade, originally a seventh-grade lesson. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Sex ed in Arizona: How does it work? What are schools allowed to teach?," 24 June 2019 And in the mid-2000s, a majority of Americans said homosexual relations (the phrase used in the question at the time) were morally wrong, according to Gallup polling. Jennifer De Pinto, CBS News, "50 years after Stonewall: Most see progress in ending LGBTQ discrimination," 24 June 2019 The Happy Prince, a 2018 biopic about Oscar Wilde; and Before Homosexuals a doc about homosexual lifestyles before the historic riots. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "Six LGBT-film series at Wadsworth Atheneum," 24 June 2019 Valero filed suit against Veltman, alleging the nightclub engaged in drugs and homosexual solicitation. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "Disco-era gay club San Antonio Country subject of new documentary," 18 June 2019 Botswana’s ruling follows a similar decision by Angola’s parliament, which voted to drop anti-homosexual colonial era provisions in its penal code in January. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Botswana is the latest African country to scrap colonial-era homosexuality laws," 11 June 2019 The mayor and the majority of the City Council members were homosexual, as were a third of the city's residents. Shelby Grad, latimes.com, "From gay bashing to AIDS to same-sex marriage, L.A. pride parade reflects hopes, dreams and despairs," 9 June 2019 This year also marks the 50th anniversary of Canada’s abolishment of laws that made homosexual behavior a crime. Jim Byers, latimes.com, "NYC is all about pride as it celebrates Stonewall's 50th anniversary," 9 June 2019 More than 30 African countries have laws prohibiting homosexual relations and in some nations, including Sudan and parts of Somalia and Nigeria, homosexuality is punishable by death. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "In Landmark Ruling, Botswana Strikes Down Colonial-Era Law Criminalizing Homosexuality," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The following year, members of the Gay Liberation Front picketed police headquarters on Market Street protesting police harassment of homosexuals. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: San Diego Pride has a long history," 28 June 2019 Police say Bowles confessed to the killing after his arrest and professed hatred for homosexuals. Fox News, "August execution set for Florida killer who targeted gay men," 12 June 2019 The event also remembered male homosexuals who were forced to war a pink triangle in work camps under the Nazi regime and commemorated the third anniversary of the shooting tragedy at Pulse, an Orlando gay nightclub. Sergio Carmona, sun-sentinel.com, "South Florida synagogues celebrate LGBTQIA community," 14 June 2019 Some rail against women, some against minorities, the dilution of the white race, homosexuals and liberals. Steve Hendrix, Anchorage Daily News, "He always hated women. Then he decided to kill them.," 7 June 2019 Last week, Brunei legalized stoning for homosexuals. Ian Malone, Vogue, "This Year’s Jeffrey Fashion Cares Event Unfolded in Spectacular Fashion," 11 Apr. 2019 However, many homosexuals hide their sexuality, even from their families, because of a fear of prejudice at school or work in a country where pressure for conformity is strong. Fox News, "Petition demands Japanese lawmaker apologize for LGBT remark," 31 Aug. 2018 One study, by Cara MacInnis and Gordon Hodson, found that vegans are viewed more negatively than atheists, immigrants, homosexuals, and asexuals. Abigail Higgins, Vox, "Why do people hate vegans so much?," 3 Nov. 2018 Most of the Islamic world now ignores ancient calls to jihad, concubinage or the execution of apostates and homosexuals. Bartle Bull, WSJ, "‘Crusade and Jihad’ Review: Conquest and Conquerors," 26 Aug. 2018

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


1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1892, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for homosexual

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for homosexual

The first known use of homosexual was in 1891

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English Language Learners Definition of homosexual

somewhat formal
: sexually attracted to people of the same sex
: based on or showing a sexual attraction to people of the same sex


ho·​mo·​sex·​u·​al | \ ˌhō-mə-ˈseksh-(ə-)wəl, -ˈsek-shəl How to pronounce homosexual (audio) \

Medical Definition of homosexual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex — compare heterosexual entry 1 sense 1a
2 : of, relating to, or involving sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex — compare heterosexual entry 1 sense 1b

Other Words from homosexual

homosexually \ -​ē How to pronounce homosexually (audio) \ adverb



Medical Definition of homosexual (Entry 2 of 2)

: a homosexual person and especially a male

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More from Merriam-Webster on homosexual

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with homosexual

Spanish Central: Translation of homosexual

Nglish: Translation of homosexual for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of homosexual for Arabic Speakers

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