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20th century, and is now sometimes considered offensive, since the word can be seen as evoking negative stereotypes and outdated clinical understandings of homosexuality as a psychiatric condition. The term has largely been replaced by gay, which can describe sexual or romantic attraction or activity between men or between women; by lesbian, which applies only to the latter; or by inclusive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the mid-1990s and is now often regarded as offensive, since the word can be seen as evoking negative stereotypes and outdated clinical understandings of homosexuality as a psychiatric condition.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 Women’s reproductive rights were severely restricted, and the policing of homosexual encounters, a hallmark of Nazism, persisted; in the two decades after the war, roughly a hundred thousand men were prosecuted for this crime. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, 19 July 2021 Lyonne plays Megan, an all-American cheerleader who is completely oblivious to her homosexual tendencies. Rebecca Caplan, Vulture, 25 June 2021 People have said, well, that was the culture at that time that young men were determined to be homosexual and or drug users and that the way society regarded them at the time had reduced them to second-class citizens. Risa Sarachan, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 In 1952, Turing was convicted of gross indecency, after confessing to a homosexual relationship with another man, and forced to undergo chemical castration. Omar G. Encarnación, Time, 26 June 2021 The law would add women, people who are homosexual, transsexual or with disabilities, to those protected by a law banning discrimination and punishing hate crimes. Colleen Barry, Star Tribune, 24 June 2021 Alexis struggles with the personal aspect of David’s license and promiscuity — the essential question of homosexual fidelity that’s been swept away by political correctness. Armond White, National Review, 18 June 2021 For decades, the primary LGBTQ symbol was a small, pink triangle — first displayed on uniforms of Nazi concentration camp prisoners who had been labeled as homosexual. Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2021 In Iran, punishments for homosexual conduct range from 31 to 100 lashes to death, according to Human Rights Watch. NBC News, 11 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That said, my problem is with my younger brother, who is a homosexual. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 6 Apr. 2021 The clip apparently at odds with Harry’s values features Knowles and Nicolosi discussing the treatments Nicolosi uses at the Reintegrative Therapy Association for patients who wish to change their behavior from homosexual to heterosexual tendencies. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, 22 Mar. 2021 In the late 1990s, Koeshall was an Assemblies of God minister in Escondido, when he was outed for being a homosexual, which that denomination considers a sin. San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Feb. 2021 Her entries included a poignant portrayal of gay Catholic priests, and how, even though all priests take a vow of celibacy, coming out as homosexual can have disastrous consequences. San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Oct. 2020 Desexing yourself as a celebrity homosexual is a survival technique, an easier pathway to global success. Raven Smith, Vogue, 6 Aug. 2020 Among the targets of the committee: suspected communists and homosexuals working in the government. Steve Appleford, Los Angeles Times, 24 Sep. 2019 Secrecy was the inescapable reality for homosexuals for much of the 20th century. Los Angeles Times, 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, 5 Mar. 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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Dictionary Entries Near homosexual

homosex

homosexual

homosexualist

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Statistics for homosexual

Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Homosexual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homosexual. Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for homosexual

homosexual

adjective

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 homosexual (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

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