What does gay mean?

Here's a list of possible definitions for the term gay:

Princeton's WordNet

  1. homosexual, homophile, homo, gay(adj)

    someone who practices homosexuality; having a sexual attraction to persons of the same sex

  2. cheery, gay, sunny(adj)

    bright and pleasant; promoting a feeling of cheer

    "a cheery hello"; "a gay sunny room"; "a sunny smile"

  3. gay, jocund, jolly, jovial, merry, mirthful(adj)

    full of or showing high-spirited merriment

    "when hearts were young and gay"; "a poet could not but be gay, in such a jocund company"- Wordsworth; "the jolly crowd at the reunion"; "jolly old Saint Nick"; "a jovial old gentleman"; "have a merry Christmas"; "peals of merry laughter"; "a mirthful laugh"

  4. gay(adj)

    given to social pleasures often including dissipation

    "led a gay Bohemian life"; "a gay old rogue with an eye for the ladies"

  5. brave, braw, gay(adj)

    brightly colored and showy

    "girls decked out in brave new dresses"; "brave banners flying"; "`braw' is a Scottish word"; "a dress a bit too gay for her years"; "birds with gay plumage"

  6. gay, festal, festive, merry(adj)

    offering fun and gaiety

    "a festive (or festal) occasion"; "gay and exciting night life"; "a merry evening"

  7. gay, queer, homophile(a)(adj)

    homosexual or arousing homosexual desires


  1. Gay(ProperNoun)

    from the word gay, "joyful"; rare today.

  2. Gay(ProperNoun)

    . Also a shortened form of Gabriel, Gaylord and similar names, or transferred from the surname.

  3. Gay(ProperNoun)

    An English surname​, originally a nickname for a cheerful or lively person.

  4. Gay(ProperNoun)

    A female given name from English from the word gay, "joyful"; rare today.

  5. Gay(ProperNoun)

    A male given name from English. Also a shortened form of Gabriel, Gaylord and similar names, or transferred from the surname.

    - - - my father's father, Gaetano Talese, was an atypically fearless traveler,

Webster Dictionary

  1. Gay

    excited with merriment; manifesting sportiveness or delight; inspiring delight; livery; merry

  2. Gay

    brilliant in colors; splendid; fine; richly dressed

  3. Gay

    loose; dissipated; lewd

  4. Gay(noun)

    an ornament


  1. Gay

    Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. The term was originally used to refer to feelings of being "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy". The term's use as a reference to homosexuality may date as early as the late 19th century, but its use gradually increased in the 20th century. In modern English, "gay" has come to be used as an adjective, and as a noun, referring to the people, especially to males, and the practices and cultures associated with homosexuality. By the end of the 20th century, the word "gay" was recommended by major LGBT groups and style guides to describe people attracted to members of the same sex. At about the same time, a new, pejorative use became prevalent in some parts of the world. In the Anglosphere, this connotation, among younger speakers, has a derisive meaning equivalent to rubbish or stupid. In this use, the word does not mean "homosexual", so it can be used, for example, to refer to an inanimate object or abstract concept of which one disapproves. This usage can also refer to weakness or unmanliness. When used in these ways, the extent to which it still retains connotations of homosexuality has been debated and harshly criticized.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Gay

    gā, adj. lively: bright: sportive, merry: wanton, dissipated, of loose life: showy: (prov.) spotted.—adv. (Scot.) fairly, considerably.—ns. Gai′ety, Gay′ety, Gay′ness.—advs. Gai′ly, Gay′ly; Gay′some, gladsome.&mdashmdash;Gay science, a rendering of gai saber, the Provençal name for the art of poetry. [O. Fr. gai—Old High Ger. wâhi, pretty, not gâhi, swift (Diez).]

Suggested Resources

  1. gay

    Quotes by gay -- Explore a large variety of famous quotes made by gay on the Quotes.net website.

  2. GAY

    What does GAY stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the GAY acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'gay' in Adjectives Frequency: #718


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of gay in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of gay in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

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