1. Older Use: Sometimes Disparaging. sexually attracted to members of one’s own sex: homosexual students.
  2. Older Use: Sometimes Disparaging. of or relating to sexual desire or behavior directed toward members of one’s own sex: the homosexual subculture.
  3. Archaic. of, relating to, or noting the same sex: pregnant with homosexual twins.


  1. Older Use: Sometimes Disparaging. a homosexual person.


  1. a person who is sexually attracted to members of the same sex


  1. of or relating to homosexuals or homosexuality
  2. of or relating to the same sex

1892, in C.G. Chaddock’s translation of Krafft-Ebing’s “Psychopathia Sexualis,” from German homosexual, homosexuale (by 1880, in Gustav Jäger), from homo-, comb. form of Greek homos “same” (see homo- (1)) + Latin-based sexual.

“Homosexual” is a barbarously hybrid word, and I claim no responsibility for it. It is, however, convenient, and now widely used. “Homogenic” has been suggested as a substitute. [H. Havelock Ellis, “Studies in Psychology,” 1897]

Sexual inversion (1883) was an earlier clinical term for it in English. The noun is recorded by 1895. In technical use, either male or female; but in non-technical use almost always male. Slang shortened form homo first attested 1929.


  1. Of, relating to, or having a sexual orientation to persons of the same sex.


  1. A homosexual person; a gay man or a lesbian.

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