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 : of, relating to, or characterized by sexual or romantic attraction to people of one's same sex : gay
2 now sometimes disparaging + offensive : 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 : 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. The term has largely been replaced by gay, which can describe sexual or romantic attraction or activity between men or between women; by lesbian, which applies only to the latter; or by inclusive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").

Examples of homosexual in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 Did Gilgamesh and Enkidu have a homosexual relationship? Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, "How to Read “Gilgamesh”," 7 Oct. 2019 Both groups say the ads require applicants to abide by the school’s honor code, which includes a ban on homosexual behavior. BostonGlobe.com, "Scientific groups remove job posts over LGBTQ policy at BYU - The Boston Globe," 12 Nov. 2019 The suit said the refusal was because the law center had labeled the ministry a hate group for its stance against homosexual behavior. Jay Reeves, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Court: First Amendment protects “hate group” label," 20 Sep. 2019 Then, in 1984 the church banned homosexual acts among clergy, essentially forcing LGBTQ ministers to either become celibate or quit. Scott T. Vehstedt, The Conversation, "Gay rights dispute is pulling apart the United Methodist Church, after decades of argument," 27 Jan. 2020 Yes, as a former Real Housewife of Atlanta cast member might say dramatically, everybody knows that some old Black folks – especially the ones who love themselves some Jesus – might feel a way about a practicing homosexual becoming president. Michael Arceneaux, Essence, "Pete Buttigieg’s Failures As A Candidate Should Not Be Scapegoated By A Trope About Black People," 6 Nov. 2019 The mention of Section 377 in Tinder India profiles signals a positive change after the colonial-era law criminalising homosexual acts was overturned in 2018. Sanaya Chandar, Quartz India, "From equality to climate change, India’s Gen Z is all about dating with a cause on Tinder," 4 Dec. 2019 There’s evidence that the Salvation Army has discriminated against transgender and homosexual individuals at some facilities in the not-so-distant past. The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, "Editorial: The good the Salvation Army does without discrimination," 3 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 This is to say nothing, of course, of the various human-rights abuses of homosexuals and (often female) fornicators in Islamic countries. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "Twitter Outrage at the Church of England’s Views on Sex," 24 Jan. 2020

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

4 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Homosexual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homosexual. Accessed 31 May. 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.

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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

Comments on homosexual

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