From Middle English gaynesse, equivalent to gay +‎ -ness.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɡeɪ.nəs/
  • (file)
    Rhymes: -eɪnəs


gayness (usually uncountable, plural gaynesses)

  1. (rare, dated, uncountable) The state of being gay (colorful or festive); display or dressiness.
  2. (rare, dated, countable) The state of being gay (cheerful); gaiety.
  3. (uncountable) The state of being gay (homosexual); homosexuality.
    Synonyms: homosexuality, queerness
    Hyponym: lesbianism
    • 1940 January-June, Allen Bernstein, Millions of Queers (Our Homo America), [Unpublished MS of the United States National Library of Medicine], →OCLC, page 51:
      You cannot blame their gayness, their queerness, their homosexuality on sudden wealth.
    • 1954 October 26, Jack Kerouac, “Jack Kerouac [Richmond Hill, New York] to Allen Ginsberg [San Francisco, California] Oct. 26, ’54”, in Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters, Penguin, published 2010, →ISBN, page 247:
      Tell Al Sublette I met a great new pianist called Cecil Taylor, [he] plays like [Oscar] Peterson gone Classical, fast runs but Brubeck-Stravinsky-Prokofieff chords, a Juilliard classicist—He, like [James] Baldwin, [is] colored, [and] I think gay,—Baldwin is gay. I don’t dig all this gayness.
    • 1959 May, David McReynolds, “McReynolds Reply to [Seymour] Krim”, in Mattachine Review, volume V, number 5, Los Angeles: Mattachine Society, →ISSN, page 9:
      I doubt very much that their "gay­ness" had any deep sexual roots. I think it was simply an exotic form of juvenile delinquency.
    • 1970, Carl Wittman, The Gay Manifesto, New York: The Red Butterfly, →OCLC, page 4, column 1:
      Those of us who have been in heterosexual marriages too often have blamed our gayness on the breakup of the marriage.
    • 1999, John Corvino, Same Sex, page 185:
      Were there gay people in the ancient world, or is gayness a uniquely modern category?
    • 2015, E. Reltso, Our Sex Saturated Society
      Their goal was to compel open legal recognition of their beliefs about sex and gayness as being the law in the United States.


See alsoEdit

  • gaiety: The state of being gay (in the sense of "happy").