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RFV discussion[edit]

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Are the first two senses real: #1: pathological fear of mankind, and #2: fear of sameness? I tried to find quotes, but did not encounter anything reasonable. In fact, one article first claimed that homosexuals invented the term homophobia, but that actually it should mean "fear of mankind", because "homo" means a man. The explanations provided for "fear of sameness" weren't any better. Hekaheka 11:16, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

  • These both seem highly bogus, although the second has a veneer of plausibility. The proper terms for these meanings would appear to be anthropophobia and homoiophobia, respectively. It's possible that someone somewhere has also used homophobia in these senses, but that seems rather unlikely, at least in recent times when the antipathy-for-homosexuals sense has become so dominant. BTW, do we have a coinage date for the primary sense? -- Visviva 11:36, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
There's one date and author mentioned in the etymology section. I bumped in the same reference during my search for quotes. Hekaheka 12:21, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Doh! You'd think I could have seen that. Well, that gives us at least two good cites for the 'anthropophobia' sense: [1] and [2]. Not sure about this one: [3]. Expect more can be found by searching for the Japanese word.-- Visviva 12:43, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Primary meaning[edit]

In recent years, I have never heard homophobia used to mean anything other than "antipathy towards homosexuals". It seems bizarre that this should not be given as the primary meaning. The other meanings presumably do exist, but for all intents and purposes these days, they must surely be regarded as obsolete. "Antipathy towards homosexuals" has effectively displaced any other meanings in modern usage. I don't suppose it was ever a common word before this meaning came along, perhaps used mostly by people who fashioned it on the spot from its Greek roots and expected their listener or reader to be able to do likewise (leaving the fear of mankind meaning even less likely, as it requires mixing languages.)

I think the success of the Gay movement in introducing the 'antipathy' meaning comes as much as anything from the fact that it's a very clever construction. The uncomfortable etymology serves to irritate many people enough to make it stick in the mind, while there's enough left of the fear in -phobia to imply that the gay-hater is such because of his own inadequacy. He fears, so he hates. It's a name-calling word. It packs a punch.

The homo- part is only indirectly derived from the Greek. In this word, it derives directly from "Homo": a contraction of "Homosexual", although you could argue that the coiner has himself shortened "homosexual" rather than reaching for the contraction in common use. So IMHO this Wictionary entry is desperately in need of editing, if only to change the order of the meanings. As an infrequent visitor, I'm not going to do this myself. I think the lack of citations for the other meanings is probably sufficient reason to do this, but my opinions on the etymology are not backed up by any research, so I'll content myself with adding to the discussion. DominicCronin 11:41, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

As to the order of the meanings, we have three general schools of thought: 1., oldest first, 2., most common first, 3., oldest group first, most common or basic within groups. Only 1 & 2 are relevant here. I am agnostic.
The meaning of -phobia is usually fear, but also dislike, avoid, notwithstanding its etymology. DCDuring TALK 23:17, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
In this case, the entry could be split by etymology to place the modern meaning first. - -sche (discuss) 04:08, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

First definition[edit]

  • The first definition is totally incorrect. The "homo" prefix comes not from the Latin meaning "man" but from the Greek meaning "same", as in "homogeneous". The word "homosexual" means someone (of either sex) who is attracted to someone else of the same sex.
  • The Latin word "homo" means more mankind than a male human being, and includes women. When Romans wished to specify a male, they used the word "vir" instead.
  • The term "homophobia" was coined in or around 1966 by George Weinberg, an American psychotherapist. He defined the word and its meaning, as being "antipathy towards, or hatred of, or aversion to homosexuals." Hope this helps. Ben.hastings 01:36, 1 April 2011 (UTC)


A phobia is a "psychological term for an irrational or obsessive fear of". Homophobia therefore means: "an irrational or obsessive fear of homosexuals". Anyone disagree? If not, then the definition Wiktionary is using for homophobic is incorrect: "Fear, dislike or hatred of homosexuals." The words dislike and hatred must be removed. IQ125 (talk) 12:48, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

It's trivial to find citations where "homophobia" means "Fear, dislike or hatred of homosexuals." That's how people use "homophobia" in real life. In my experience, nobody says "homophobia" meaning "An irrational or obsessive fear of homosexuals" unless they are trying to make a point about how everyone uses the word in the "wrong" way.
Feel free to try to find a few CFI-compliant citations where "homophobia" means "An irrational or obsessive fear of homosexuals." If you do find them, we could have a new sense like that, but it would have to be tagged "rare" and maybe "nonstandard". Note that the entry for the suffix -phobia has two senses: one for the irrational fear, and other for the hate, dislike, contempt. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 12:59, 14 April 2017 (UTC)