homosexual

adjective
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 now sometimes disparaging + offensive, see usage paragraph below : of, relating to, or characterized by sexual or romantic attraction to people of one's same sex : gay
2 now sometimes disparaging + offensive, see usage paragraph below : of, relating to, or involving sexual activity between people of the same sex

homosexual

noun
plural homosexuals

Definition of homosexual (Entry 2 of 2)

now often disparaging + offensive, see usage paragraph below : a person who is sexually or romantically attracted to people of their same sex : a gay person and especially a male gay person

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Other Words from homosexual

Adjective

homosexually adverb, now sometimes disparaging + offensive

Usage of Homosexual

Adjective

The adjective homosexual has been decreasing in use in published, edited text since the late 20th century, and is now sometimes considered offensive, since the word can be seen as evoking negative stereotypes and outdated clinical understandings of homosexuality as a psychiatric condition. The term has largely been replaced by gay, which can describe sexual or romantic attraction or activity between men or between women; by lesbian, which applies only to the latter; or by inclusive abbreviations such as LGBT ("lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender").

Usage of Homosexual

Noun

The noun homosexual has seen a decrease in use in published, edited text since the mid-1990s and is now often regarded as offensive, since the word can be seen as evoking negative stereotypes and outdated clinical understandings of homosexuality as a psychiatric condition. Phrases that employ the adjectives gay and lesbian tend to be preferred, as in "a gay man," "a lesbian couple," "gay people," etc.

Examples of homosexual in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Historians speculate the coup had more to do with Ludwig’s homosexual desires and various eccentricities than his wreckless spending, which primarily affected the royal rather than state coffers. Daisy Alioto, Longreads, "House of the Century," 10 Aug. 2020 In 1986, after the Supreme Court upheld a Georgia statute that largely criminalized homosexual activity, activists protested in New York City. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, "'We refuse to celebrate': July 4th protesters say not all Americans are free," 4 July 2020 This lethal epidemic sweeping out of control through the homosexual enclaves of America has been turned into a propaganda ploy, in our opinion. Cnn Staff, CNN, "Learning from the AIDS Epidemic: Dr. Sanjay Gupta's coronavirus podcast for June 29," 29 June 2020 Some states had laws on the books -- not yet invalidated -- making homosexual acts a capital crime. The Washington Post, "Chatological Humor with Gene Weingarten," 16 June 2020 While acknowledging that Congress didn't specifically mention homosexual or transgender individuals in the 1964 law, that didn't limit it from prohibiting discrimination against them, as the employers had also argued. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Supreme Court rules in Michigan case, says workers can't be fired for being transgender," 15 June 2020 Many historians trace modern notions of homosexual identity back to cabarets and speakeasies of the 19th and 20th centuries. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Queer Nightlife Is About Being Together. The Coronavirus Is Testing That.," 10 June 2020 And that person's workplace and employer was then very quickly made aware that this man was homosexual. Cnn Staff, CNN, "The Future of Surveillance: Dr. Sanjay Gupta's podcast for May 15," 15 May 2020 Even Proust fought a duel, after a journalist hinted at a homosexual relationship, but no harm came of it since both participants deliberately fired in the air. Leo Damrosch, New York Times, "Hanging With the Wits and Dandies of the Belle Époque," 21 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Desexing yourself as a celebrity homosexual is a survival technique, an easier pathway to global success. Raven Smith, Vogue, "The Safety of Ellen DeGeneres Has Been Compromised—But What Does It Mean to Cancel Her?," 6 Aug. 2020 Among the targets of the committee: suspected communists and homosexuals working in the government. Steve Appleford, Los Angeles Times, "The ‘Where’s My Roy Cohn?’ documentary director reveals Trump’s Machiavelli," 24 Sep. 2019 Secrecy was the inescapable reality for homosexuals for much of the 20th century. Los Angeles Times, "Ain Gordon unmasks gay history in ‘217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous’," 13 Oct. 2019 Lesbians or homosexuals will no longer be denied legally binding marriages, complete with mutual-support agreements and inheritance rights. Gloria Steinem, Time, "50 Years Ago, Gloria Steinem Wrote an Essay For TIME About Her Hopes For Women’s Futures. Here’s What She'd Add Today," 5 Mar. 2020 On social media, many Ugandans have mocked the imam as a suspected homosexual who is not being truthful. Washington Post, "Imam in Uganda is mocked for mistakenly marrying a man," 16 Jan. 2020 Paradoxically, the number of homosexuals may get smaller. Gloria Steinem, Time, "50 Years Ago, Gloria Steinem Wrote an Essay For TIME About Her Hopes For Women’s Futures. Here’s What She'd Add Today," 5 Mar. 2020 Students dressed up as Jews and homosexuals are knocked over or humiliated in the clip. Fox News, "Argentinian students parody 'Barbie Girl' with 'Nazi Girl' in school assignment, receive high marks," 26 Nov. 2019 Anti-Semitism is usually of a much wider tendency to discriminate minorities, including foreigners, Muslims, or homosexuals. Claudio Lavanga, NBC News, "Italian Holocaust survivor under police protection after anti-Semitic threats," 8 Nov. 2019

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

Adjective

1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1894, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for homosexual

Time Traveler

The first known use of homosexual was in 1891

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Statistics for homosexual

Last Updated

16 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Homosexual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homosexual. Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for homosexual

homosexual

adjective
How to pronounce homosexual (audio)

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

homosexual

adjective
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 sexual or romantic attraction to individuals of one's same sex : gay
2 : of, relating to, or involving sexual activity between persons of the same sex

Note: The adjective homosexual has been decreasing in use in published, edited text since the late 20th century, and is now sometimes considered offensive. The term has largely been replaced by gay, which can describe sexual or romantic attraction or activity between men or between women; by lesbian, which applies only to the latter; or by inclusive abbreviations such as LGBT ("lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender").

Other Words from homosexual

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

homosexual

noun

Medical Definition of homosexual (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who is sexually or romantically attracted to people of their same sex : a gay person and especially a male gay person

Note: The noun homosexual has seen a decrease in use in published, edited text since the mid-1990s and is now often regarded as offensive; instead, phrases that employ the adjectives gay and lesbian tend to be preferred, as in "a gay man," "a lesbian couple," "gay people," etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on homosexual

Nglish: Translation of homosexual for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of homosexual for Arabic Speakers

Comments on homosexual

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