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

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20th century, and is now sometimes considered offensive, since the word can be seen as evoking negative stereotypes and outdated clinical understandings of homosexuality as a psychiatric condition. The term has largely been replaced by gay, which can describe sexual or romantic attraction or activity between men or between women; by lesbian, which applies only to the latter; or by inclusive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the mid-1990s and is now often regarded as offensive, since the word can be seen as evoking negative stereotypes and outdated clinical understandings of homosexuality as a psychiatric condition.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 Under Iran's legal system, homosexual acts can be punished by the death penalty. Hadas Gold And Abeer Salman, CNN, 5 Sep. 2022 The city temporarily removed anti-Semitic signage and Romani street-dwelling groups and relaxed anti-homosexual laws for the benefit of international visitors. Michael Silverman, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Sep. 2022 Locke came of age amid a Victorian wave of gay aestheticism that looked to classical art as inspiration for a new homosexual identity. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2022 Gay activists express outrage at the negative depiction of homosexual hand puppets. Chris Norris, SPIN, 13 Aug. 2022 Under his proposal, the Anglican Communion would retain its 1998 resolution defining homosexual relations as inherently sinful, but would not take action to punish provinces that deviated from that teaching. Grayson Quay, The Week, 9 Aug. 2022 Beware, anyone who opposes federally mandating that states treat homosexual and heterosexual relationships identically. Aron Ravin, National Review, 8 Aug. 2022 That’s not even mentioning tournament employees’ lack of working rights, nor the strict laws against homosexual relationships, for example, in the Gulf state, another issue leading many to question its suitability to host the show. Henry Flynn, Forbes, 16 July 2022 American culture was brilliantly exposed — and neutered — through an effeminate homosexual artist’s application of drag. Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Yes in 21st century being homosexual is a punishable crime in Iran and now she and Elham Chobdar are sentenced to be executed. Benjamin Weinthal, Fox News, 6 Sep. 2022 Billy Eichner, noted homosexual, found himself the target of some odd gossip when a clickbait article touting his relationship with Noelle costar Anna Kendrick went viral. Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 19 June 2022 Every single homosexual in our country should be charged with a crime. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, 9 June 2022 In 1895, Oscar Wilde had his boyfriend’s father, the Marquess of Queensberry, arrested for accurately suggesting that Wilde was a homosexual. Kyle Smith, National Review, 14 Apr. 2022 Even in his lifetime, this Prussian royal was widely rumored to be a homosexual, though that term wouldn’t be coined till nearly 90 years after his death. NBC News, 18 Oct. 2021 When his roommate at the Naval Academy said jokingly last year that Andrew Atwill was a homosexual, the midshipman told him to cut it out. Taylor Deville, baltimoresun.com, 4 Aug. 2021 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 See More

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.

First Known Use of homosexual

Adjective

1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1894, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About homosexual

Time Traveler for homosexual

Time Traveler

The first known use of homosexual was in 1891

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near homosexual

homosex

homosexual

homosexualist

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for homosexual

Last Updated

10 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Homosexual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homosexual. Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for homosexual

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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