Thesaurus

gay

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of gay

2 having or showing freedom from worries or trouble
  • a gay, thoughtless girl who didn't care whether her work was done or not

Synonyms for gay

Words Related to gay

Near Antonyms for gay

Antonyms for gay

3 indicative of or marked by high spirits or good humor
  • had a gay old time at the party

Synonyms for gay

Words Related to gay

Near Antonyms for gay

5 serving to lift one's spirits
  • the skylark's gay song lifted me out of my gloom

Synonyms for gay

Words Related to gay

Near Antonyms for gay

Antonyms for gay

6 joyously unrestrained
  • it was the era of the flappers, and young women were gay, bold, and defiant of convention

Synonyms for gay

Words Related to gay

Near Antonyms for gay

Antonyms for gay

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About gay

How does the adjective gay contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of gay are animated, lively, sprightly, and vivacious. While all these words mean "keenly alive and spirited," gay stresses complete freedom from care and overflowing spirits.

the gay spirit of Paris in the 1920s

When is it sensible to use animated instead of gay?

The words animated and gay can be used in similar contexts, but animated applies to what is spirited and active.

an animated discussion of current events

When might lively be a better fit than gay?

In some situations, the words lively and gay are roughly equivalent. However, lively suggests briskness, alertness, or energy.

a lively debate on the issues

When would sprightly be a good substitute for gay?

While the synonyms sprightly and gay are close in meaning, sprightly suggests lightness and spirited vigor of manner or wit.

a tuneful, sprightly musical

When is vivacious a more appropriate choice than gay?

The synonyms vivacious and gay are sometimes interchangeable, but vivacious suggests an activeness of gesture and wit, often playful or alluring.

a vivacious party host

Learn More About gay

Time Traveler for gay

Time Traveler

The first known use of gay was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near gay

gawps

gay

gayness

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Gay.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/gay. Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on gay

Nglish: Translation of gay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gay for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gay

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!