homosexuality

noun

ho·​mo·​sex·​u·​al·​i·​ty ˌhō-mə-ˌsek-shə-ˈwa-lə-tē How to pronounce homosexuality (audio)
1
now sometimes offensive; see usage paragraph below : sexual or romantic attraction to others of one's same sex : the quality or state of being gay
2
now sometimes offensive; see usage paragraph below : sexual activity with another of the same sex
Usage of Homosexuality

Neutral use of the term homosexuality is still somewhat common, especially in technical and formal contexts. Outside of those contexts, however, the word can be seen as evoking negative stereotypes and outdated clinical understandings of homosexuality as a psychiatric condition.

Examples of homosexuality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Despite his contributions to advancing Black people’s freedom, Rustin was pushed to the background by his peers because of his homosexuality. Jason Oliver Evans, The Conversation, 3 Feb. 2023 Heche, whose father hid his homosexuality until his death from AIDS in 1983, was drawn to the talk show host's honesty about her sexuality. Naledi Ushe, USA TODAY, 24 Jan. 2023 One friend put it to him that the French writer André Gide’s memoirs made no secret of his homosexuality. Nikhil Krishnan, The New Yorker, 16 Jan. 2023 Many people imagine that your parents are like Usher’s parents, who can’t accept his homosexuality and are skeptical of his career ambitions. Michael Paulson, New York Times, 16 Jan. 2023 There were rumors of gay cliques in the church, and widespread homosexuality in seminaries, all of which Benedict abhorred. Jay Parini, CNN, 31 Dec. 2022 Most Indonesians held fairly relaxed views about homosexuality, which was never officially banned. Sui-Lee Wee, BostonGlobe.com, 6 Dec. 2022 Peters was a trailblazer in his frank and intimate depictions of homosexuality, spirituality and mental illness in the 1950s. Matt Donnelly, Variety, 18 Nov. 2022 The image purports to ban drinking, homosexuality, immodesty, profanity, loud music and dating. Ana Faguy, USA TODAY, 25 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'homosexuality.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of homosexuality was in 1892

Dictionary Entries Near homosexuality

Cite this Entry

“Homosexuality.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homosexuality. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

homosexuality

noun
ho·​mo·​sex·​u·​al·​i·​ty ˌhō-mə-ˌsek-shə-ˈwal-ət-ē How to pronounce homosexuality (audio)
: the quality or state of being homosexual

Medical Definition

homosexuality

noun
ho·​mo·​sex·​u·​al·​i·​ty ˌhō-mə-ˌsek-shə-ˈwal-ət-ē How to pronounce homosexuality (audio)
plural homosexualities
1
: sexual or romantic attraction to others of one's same sex : the quality or state of being gay
2
: sexual activity with another of the same sex
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