• WordNet 3.6
    • adj gay bright and pleasant; promoting a feeling of cheer "a cheery hello","a gay sunny room","a sunny smile"
    • adj gay 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"
    • adj gay homosexual or arousing homosexual desires
    • adj gay given to social pleasures often including dissipation "led a gay Bohemian life","a gay old rogue with an eye for the ladies"
    • adj gay offering fun and gaiety "a festive (or festal) occasion","gay and exciting night life","a merry evening"
    • adj gay 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"
    • n gay someone who practices homosexuality; having a sexual attraction to persons of the same sex
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The Baron's Retainers, Mesdames Blythe and Gay, giving him the results of their readings The Baron's Retainers, Mesdames Blythe and Gay, giving him the results of their readings

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Q-Tip Cotton Swabs were originally called Baby Gays
    • n Gay An ornament
    • Gay Brilliant in colors; splendid; fine; richly dressed. "Why is my neighbor's wife so gay ?""A bevy of fair women, richly gay In gems and wanton dress!"
    • Gay Excited with merriment; manifesting sportiveness or delight; inspiring delight; livery; merry. "Belinda smiled, and all the world was gay .""Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed."
    • Gay Loose; dissipated; lewd.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Comedian/actor Billy Crystal portrayed Jodie Dallas, the first openly gay main character on network television on ABC's Soap, which aired from 1977 to 1981.
    • gay Disposed to or excited with merriment or delight; demonstratively cheerful; merry; jovial; sportive; frolicsome.
    • gay Such as to excite or indicate mirth or pleasure; hence, cheering; enlivening.
    • gay Bright or lively, especially in color; gaudy; showy: as, a gay dress; a gay flower.
    • gay Richly or showily dressed; adorned with fine clothing; highly ornamented.
    • gay Given to pleasure; lively; in a bad sense, given to vicious pleasure; loose; dissipated.
    • gay Quick; fast. [Prov. Eng.]
    • gay Pretty long; considerable: as, a gay while. Compare gay, adv. [Prov. Eng. and Scotch.]
    • gay Bright, brilliant, dashing.
    • n gay Anything showily fine or ornamental; a gaud.
    • n gay A gay lady; a beautiful lady.
    • n gay A print or picture.
    • n gay The noon or morning, as the brighter part of the day.
    • gay Pretty; moderately: as, gay gude.
    • n gay A small rut in a path. [Prov. Eng.]
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Monday's Child is fair of face, Tuesday's child is full of grace, Wednesday's child is full of woe, Thursday's child has far to go, Friday's child is loving and giving, Saturday's child has to work for its living, But a child that's born on the Sabbath Day, Is fair and wise and good and gay.
    • adj Gay lively: bright: sportive, merry: wanton, dissipated, of loose life: showy:
    • Gay adv. (Scot.) fairly, considerably
    • adj Gay (prov.) spotted
    • ***


  • John Spong
    John Spong
    “The priesthood in many ways is the ultimate closet in Western civilization, where gay people particularly have hidden for the past two thousand years.”
  • Kathleen Turner
    Kathleen Turner
    “I know there are nights when I have power, when I could put on something and walk in somewhere, and if there is a man who doesn't look at me, it's because he's gay.”
  • Andrew Young
    “Can wealth give happiness? look around and see, what gay distress! what splendid misery! Whatever fortunes lavishly can pour, the mind annihilates and calls for more.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. gai, perhaps fr. OHG. ghi, swift, rapid, G. gäh, jäh, steep, hasty; or cf. OHG. whi, beatiful, good. Cf. Jay
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. gai—Old High Ger. wâhi, pretty, not gâhi, swift (Diez).


In literature:

Gay expected it of her, and she could not fall below Gay's expectation of what a strong character should accomplish.
"The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation" by Annie Fellows Johnston
The smile with which he had answered her gay fling had faded; his eyes had grown dark with a singular fire; his hands were clenched.
"The Indifference of Juliet" by Grace S. Richmond
But meanwhile he is growing old, to be so gay.
"Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2)" by F. Marion Crawford
The Gays are hard up and proud and the Hildreths are busy and like to keep to themselves.
"Rainbow Hill" by Josephine Lawrence
Hester's gay spirits ebbed.
"Hester's Counterpart" by Jean K. Baird
Reverend Addison Belt, of Princeton, had a school on Gay (N) Street, between Congress (31st) and Washington (30th) Streets.
"A Portrait of Old George Town" by Grace Dunlop Ecker
They expected me to entertain and keep a gay house for them, and in that they were disappointed.
"Personal Recollections, from Early Life to Old Age, of Mary Somerville" by Mary Somerville
She was always bright and gay.
"'Lizbeth of the Dale" by Marian Keith
One could never remember one's troubles in Sandy's gay presence.
"In Orchard Glen" by Marian Keith
Helen Murray, herself, often wondered why she was not bidden to the many festivities of which she heard the gay Miss Annabel talk.
"The End of the Rainbow" by Marian Keith

In poetry:

Now my lips are gay
And my heart untold;
"She is young," they say . . .
I am old– am old!
"I Was Still A Child" by Margaret Widdemer
I always saw us, gay and good,
High honored in the town.
Now I am grown to womanhood….
I have the silly gown.
"The Red Dress" by Dorothy Parker
Why should I keep holiday,
When other men have none?
Why but because when these are gay,
I sit and mourn alone.
"Compensation" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The earth's perfection dawneth soon;
Ours lingereth alway;
We have a morning, not a noon;
Spring, but no summer gay.
"Songs of the Spring Days" by George MacDonald
To-day my gay and happy heart,
Was lost in pleasant dreaming;
And I had won a loving part
In all the by-gone's seeming.
"A Song Of The Olden Time" by James Avis Bartley
Two angels, as I grew up glad and gay
From golden infancy,
Were with me, walking all along the way
On either side of me.
"The Two Angels" by Alexander Anderson

In news:

The Supreme Court's announcement last Friday that it will take up gay marriage is more than a chance for the justices to recognize the emerging national consensus in support of gay rights.
133 W 18th St Don ye all your gay apparel at the gay-friendly club that decks the halls at holiday time 452-0125.
A committee studying whether the Boy Scouts of America should let gay children be Scouts and gay and lesbian adults be Scout leaders has wrapped up its work - begun in 2010.
U-M researchers: 'That's so gay' no laughing matter for gay, lesbian and bisexual students.
The bitter rivals in California's gay marriage debate were in complete agreement Friday: The US Supreme Court's decision to take up the state's gay marriage ban was a good thing.
With attitudes changing and acceptance of gay men and lesbians increasing in the USA, it's worth looking at some of the gay and lesbian television characters who have been coming into Americans' homes since the mid-1970s.
The Budapest Police Department will not allow gays to gather this summer for a gay pride march, planned in the Hungarian capital for July 7.
The out gay actor will play a gay best friend on Lifetime's 'Witches of East End'.
It may not sound very powerful, but gay rights activist Debra Peevey said that a two-inch green button played a major role in convincing voters to legalize gay marriage this month in her home state of Washington.
Gay men and their mothers have filed a lawsuit against JONAH, a gay conversion therapy program, accusing it of fraud.
Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) In July, the boy scouts reaffirmed its ban on openly gay boys becoming members and from gay or lesbian adults serving as leaders.
The historic Greenwich Village gay bar, Stonewall Inn, invites customers to celebrate Obama's support of gay marriage.
Gay film festival in Syracuse aims to help CNY gay youth.
EA received thousands of anti-gay letters for its inclusion of gay characters in some EA titles.
The May 8 vote—coming a day before President Obama's declaration of support for gay marriage—produced renewed national debate about gay marriage as well as jokes portraying this state as backwards.

In science:

Gay-Berne ellipsoids with longitudinal point dipoles show a stabilization of the nematic phase with respect to the isotropic phase as the dipoles are moved from the centers of the molecules to the ends17 , and can exhibit antiferroelectric smectic phases with striped structures18 .
Dipolar interactions, molecular flexibility, and flexoelectricity in bent-core liquid crystals
Tilted polar smectic phases have been reported in fluids of Gay-Berne molecules with transverse dipole moments19 .
Dipolar interactions, molecular flexibility, and flexoelectricity in bent-core liquid crystals
With regard to bentcore molecules, Johnston et al. have shown that the presence of transverse molecular dipoles on Gay-Berne dimers stabilizes the smectic phases at the expense of nematic phases, increases the tilt angle in tilted smectic phases, and can induce long-range polar ordering11.
Dipolar interactions, molecular flexibility, and flexoelectricity in bent-core liquid crystals
Gay , “Study and test of a hybrid coronagraph”, Proc.
Prototyping coronagraphs for exoplanet characterization with SPHERE
Theoretical capabilities for ground-based observations,” Astronomy and Astrophysics 141, 319–329 (Jan. 2000). [14 ] Baudoz, P., Rabbia, Y., Gay, J., Burg, R., Petro, L., Bely, P., Fleury, B., Madec, P.-Y., and Charbonnier, F., “Achromatic interfero coronagraphy.
Tests of achromatic phase shifters performed on the SYNAPSE test bench: a progress report