queer

Queer originally just meant "weird," but it's unfortunately evolved into an offensive term for "homosexual."

Like many words, queer has many meanings. One is "odd," as in "I feel kind of queer today." The other is "gay." Calling someone queer is a slur: it has about the same meaning and level of offensiveness as fag. As a verb, queering can mean to endanger or expose to risk, and also to hinder, thwart, foil, or baffle. As usual, you can figure out which meaning of queer someone intends by the other words around it.

Primary Meanings of queer

1.
adj
beyond or deviating from the usual or expected
2.
adjn
homosexual or arousing homosexual desires
offensive term for an openly homosexual man
3.
v
hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of
Full Definitions of queer
1

adj beyond or deviating from the usual or expected

“something definitely queer about this town”
Synonyms:
curious, funny, odd, peculiar, rum, rummy, singular
strange, unusual
being definitely out of the ordinary and unexpected; slightly odd or even a bit weird
2

adj homosexual or arousing homosexual desires

Synonyms:
gay, homophile
homosexual
sexually attracted to members of your own sex

n offensive term for an openly homosexual man

Type of:
gay man, shirtlifter
a homosexual man
3

v hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of

Synonyms:
baffle, bilk, cross, foil, frustrate, scotch, spoil, thwart
Types:
show 10 types...
hide 10 types...
disappoint, let down
fail to meet the hopes or expectations of
dash
destroy or break
short-circuit
hamper the progress of; impede
ruin
destroy or cause to fail
betray, fail
disappoint, prove undependable to; abandon, forsake
come short, fall short
fail to meet (expectations or standards)
disenchant, disillusion
free from enchantment
undo
cause the ruin or downfall of
break
cause the failure or ruin of
shipwreck
ruin utterly
Type of:
forbid, foreclose, forestall, preclude, prevent
keep from happening or arising; make impossible

v put in a dangerous, disadvantageous, or difficult position

Synonyms:
endanger, expose, peril, scupper
Types:
compromise
expose or make liable to danger, suspicion, or disrepute
Type of:
affect, bear on, bear upon, impact, touch, touch on
have an effect upon

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.