Gay is a word with many meanings. A gay person is homosexual, but if we describe something like a scene or a party as gay, that means it's bright, merry, and happy.

Gay originally meant excited, festive and merry. Skipping down the street is something you'd do in a gay mood. A fun dinner party could be described as full of laughter and gaiety. Gay really only came to mean homosexual in the last century. The fight for gay rights doesn’t mean a fight for the right to be festive, it means a fight against discrimination.

Definitions of gay

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

homo, homophile, homosexual
gay man, shirtlifter
a homosexual man
gay woman, lesbian, tribade
a female homosexual
closet queen
a negative term for a homosexual man who chooses not to reveal his sexual orientation
Type of:
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
a human being

adj homosexual or arousing homosexual desires

homophile, queer
sexually attracted to members of your own sex

adj given to social pleasures often including dissipation

“led a gay Bohemian life”
“a gay old rogue with an eye for the ladies”
characterized by or given to yielding to the wishes of someone

adj bright and pleasant; promoting a feeling of cheer

“a gay sunny room”
cheery, sunny
being full of or promoting cheer; having or showing good spirits

adj offering fun and gaiety

gay and exciting night life”
festal, festive, merry
full of or characterized by joy

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”
jocund, jolly, jovial, merry, mirthful
full of or characterized by joy

adj brightly colored and showy

“a dress a bit too gay for her years”
“birds with gay plumage”
brave, braw
colorful, colourful
striking in variety and interest

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