Definition of coming out in US English:

coming out


  • 1Movement or transfer from being inside a place or state to being outside it; emergence or development from a hidden to a visible stage. Formerly also concrete: †the passage out of a place (obsolete).

  • 2The process of formally entering society as a young woman; an instance of this.

  • 3Slang. Among homosexual men and women: the action or fact of becoming socially or sexually active within homosexual circles; the realization that one is homosexual. Now rare except as passing into sense 3b.

  • 4The action or fact of openly acknowledging or declaring one's homosexuality.


Late Middle English; earliest use found in Guy de Chauliac's Grande Chirurgie. From coming + out: in sense 2 after to come out.


coming out

/ˌkʌmɪŋ ˈaʊt/