• IPA: /ˈmɛɹi/, /ˈmeiɹi/

mary (plural marys)

  1. (chiefly US gay slang, usually capitalized) A male homosexual. [1925]
    • 1941, G. Legman, Sex Variants, Vol. II, p. 1171:
      Note also that male homosexuals will call most anyone Bessie or Mary, e.g. ‘Oh, Bessie, you're a camp!’
    • 1985, W. Dynes, Homolexis, p. 150:
      In America in the 1950s,... Mary was often used in the vocative to address any fellow homosexual (‘Well, Mary...’).
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈmɛəɹɪ/
  • (GA) enPR: mârʹē
    • (nMmmm) IPA: /ˈme(ə)ɹi/
    • (Mmmm) IPA: /ˈmɛɹi/
Proper noun
  1. A female given name.
    • 1821 Lord Byron, Don Juan: Canto the Fifth: IV:
      I have a passion for the name of Mary, / For once it was a magic sound to me: / And still it half calls up the realm of fairy / Where I beheld what never was to be.
    • 1830 Mary Russell Mitford, Our Village: Cottage Names:
      Mary, which is as common as a white violet, and like that has something indestructibly sweet and simple, and fit for all wear, high or low, suits the cottage or the palace, the garden or the field, the pretty and the ugly, the old and the young;
    • 1905 George M.Cohan, Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway, Mary is a Grand Old Name ( a song)
      For it was Mary; Mary / Plain as any name can be / But with propriety, society / Will say "Marie". / But it was Mary; Mary / Long before the fashions came / And there's something there that sounds so square / It's a grand old name.
    • 1996, Maeve Binchy, This Year It Will Be Different: A Christmas Treasury, Hachette UK (2008) ISBN 9781409105404
      They had called their children Ann, Mary, and John as a reaction against their own fancy tricksy names. Both mothers thought these names sadly unimaginative and each blamed the child of the other for the lack of vision and style.
  2. The Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Matthew 1:18 ↗:
      Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
  3. The 19th sura (chapter) of the Qur'an.
  4. Any of several other women in the New Testament, notably Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Luke 10:41 ↗:
      Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
  5. (Ireland, dated) A middle name for a male, given in honour of the Virgin Mary.
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