(uncountable, obsolete) the realm of faerie; enchantment, illusion.
A mythical being who had magical powers, known in many sizes and descriptions, although often depicted in modern illustrations only as small and spritely with gauze-like wings; A sprite.
(Northern England, US, derogatory, colloquial) a male homosexual, especially one who is effeminate.
(paganism) A nature spirit revered in modern paganism.
Two species of hummingbird in the genus Heliothryx.
* (mythical being
) fay, fey, fae, sprite
* (male homosexual
) fag (US
), faggot (US
), poof (UK
* fairy bread
* fairy chess
* fairy circle
* fairy cycle
* fairy dust
* fairy floss
* fairy godmother
* fairy lights
* fairy lily
* fairy primrose
* fairy ring
* fairy ring champignon
* fairy shrimp
* fairy story
* fairy tale
* fairy thorn
* fairy wren
* fairy-tale, fairytale
* tooth fairy
* water fairy
(now, slightly, dated) Weird, odd or different; whimsical.
* (Washington Irving)
* 1865 , (Lewis Carroll), (w, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
* , chapter=5
- “I wish I hadn’t cried so much!” said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. “I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! That will be a queer' thing, to be sure! However, everything is ' queer to-day.”
Mr. Pratt's Patients
, passage=Of all the queer
collections of humans outside of a crazy asylum, it seemed to me this sanitarium was the cup winner. […] When you're well enough off so's you don't have to fret about anything but your heft or your diseases you begin to get queer, I suppose.}}
(slightly, dated) Slightly unwell (mainly in'' ''to feel queer ).
* , chapter=5
Mr. Pratt's Patients
, passage=Of all the queer collections of humans outside of a crazy asylum, it seemed to me this sanitarium was the cup winner. … When you're well enough off so's you don't have to fret about anything but your heft or your diseases you begin to get queer
, I suppose.}}
More broadly: pertaining to sexual behaviour or identity which does not conform to conventional heterosexual standards, assumptions etc.
*1999 , (Judith Butler), Gender Trouble , Routledge 2002, Preface to 1999 edition:
*:If gender is no longer to be understood as consolidated through normative sexuality, then is there a crisis of gender that is specific to queer contexts?
* See also those of strange.
* queer fish
* queer theory
(colloquial) A person who is or appears homosexual, or who has homosexual qualities.
(colloquial) A person of atypical sexuality or sexual identity.
(colloquial, vulgar, derogatory) General term of abuse, casting aspersions on target's sexuality; compare (gay).
* 1913 , edition, ISBN 0786704446, page 133:
- You're shoving the queer .
* The use of this word to mean "homosexual" was formerly, and is often still, considered pejorative. However, in the way that all language is dynamic and pliable, the word is also sometimes now used (primarily as adjective) as a neutral or even positive descriptive term, including by some (primarily younger) homosexuals. In its pejorative use, it is applied usually to males. In its modern neutral use, it is applied to all genders.
* Some LGBT individuals now use the term as an all-inclusive term for the GLBTIQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Intersex, Queer) etc. community. This may include people who consider themselves to be politically (or otherwise sociologically) GLBTIQ without necessarily displaying, or even simply inclined towards behavior that is not heteronormative. This new usage is again by primarily younger people.
* 'Queer' is also used as a positive term for people, some of whom reject mainstream-gay values and culture as exclusive and limiting. People who identify with this version of queer distance themselves from the commercialisation and (relatively) conformist values of the gay mainstream and embrace fluid and unconstrained definitions of sexuality and gender. There is some common ground between this definition of queer and the punk and DIY scenes. See also "genderqueer".
* In the English dialect of the southern United States, the two senses of the adjective queer'' (''homosexual'' and ''weird, odd, different, or unwell'') are sometimes distinguished by pronunciation. Queer (''homosexual'') is pronounced (kwîr), queer (''weird, odd, different, or unwell'') is pronounced (kwär). This is generally considered old-fashioned and is only used when the word is emphasized, as in the phrase "''that's awful queer " (pronounced TH?ts ôr'f?l kwär). The distinction is dying out as that latter sense of the word dies out.
To render an endeavor or agreement ineffective or null.
* 1955 , edition, ISBN 0553249592, page 78:
To reevaluate or reinterpret a work with an eye to sexual orientation and/or to gender, as by applying queer theory.
* 2003 , Marcella Althaus-Reid, The Queer God (page 9)
- I was a lot more apt to queer it than help it.
* 2006 , Carla Freccero, Queer/Early/Modern (page 80)
- If I go, for instance, to the history of the church in Latin America, and decide to queer the history of the Jesuitic Missions, I may find that, in many ways, the missions were more sexual than Christian.
- Jonathan Goldberg further explores the implications of queering history in his essay in the same volume.