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cruising (countable and uncountable, plural cruisings)

  1. Sailing about without an exact destination, usually for pleasure.
    Cruising is a popular activity among the over-60s.
    • 2000, Jim Howard, Charles J. Doane, Handbook of Offshore Cruising: The Dream and Reality of Modern Ocean Cruising, Sheridan House, Inc. (→ISBN), page 13:
      Maintenance time takes away from the time for sightseeing, fishing, reading, or the other things that were the original objectives of cruising.
  2. (slang) Walking or driving about a locality in search of a casual sex partner, especially among gay males.
    There was a fair amount of cruising going on at the gay party.
    • 1927, Aaron J. Rosanoff, “Sexual Psychopaths”, in Manual of Psychiatry, Sixth edition, New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc., OCLC 1090860194, page 203:
      Within their [homosexuals'] own group, too, there is considerable social discrimination. In the most “respectable” class are those who do no “cruising,” i.e., picking up “friends” at random in the parks or streets.
    • 1940 January-June, Allen Bernstein, Millions of Queers (Our Homo America), [Unpublished MS of the United States National Library of Medicine], OCLC 14298678, page 15:
      The press screamed headlines about castrating perverts, but the parks and cruising places remained as populous as ever. And with good cause.
    • 1957 May, Richard Mayer, “Quote Cure Unquote... a la [Edward] Bergler”, in Mattachine Review, volume III, number 5, Los Angeles: Mattachine Society, ISSN 0465-3874, page 22:
      For example, when a homosexual goes cruising, he runs the risk of being arrested, blackmailed or beaten up. Therefore, [Bergler concludes] homosexuals want to be hurt, humiliated, defeated and destroyed; they are all psychic masochists.
    • 1970, Gerald Walker, Cruising, New York: Stein and Day, →ISBN, page 104:
      But even so, the gay boys who are out cruising aren’t being especially cautious. They’ve even made a pickup gambit out of it. “If that bulge in your pants isn’t a knife, let’s go for a walk.” That sort of thing.
    • 1990, Allan Bérubé, Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two, New York: The Free Press, OCLC 474334852, page 114:
      Gay cruising in hotel bars was quiet and covert, but still charged with erotic possibilities and an awareness that there was little time to waste.




  1. present participle of cruise

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