come out

Definitions

General English

  • phrasal verb to move outside
  • phrasal verb to be removed
  • phrasal verb to appear for sale
  • phrasal verb to state publicly that you are homosexual

Slang

  • verb to reveal oneself as a homosexual, declare one’s homosexuality. The expression is a shortening of ‘come out of the closet’, dating from the period in the early 1970s when liberalisation encouraged more openness among gay men and women in their relations with each other and the straight world. Subsequently the term has sometimes been extended to mean ‘to declare one’s real position’ in non-sexual contexts.
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