Weiner said he rebuked the unidentified woman to whom he was speaking Thursday, but apologized to insure no one thought he condoned what was said about Quinn, who is openly lesbian.
"I admonished the woman amid a large crowd on a street corner, and by no means believe than anything about her comment was appropriate. If the impression is that I did, I apologize," Weiner said in a statement his campaign released on Twitter.
The woman, to whom Weiner spoke while he sought signatures for his ballot petition, referred to Quinn as "the dyke," The Washington Post said, and after she apologized to Weiner, he said: "It's okay. It's not your fault."
Polls have shown Weiner trailing Quinn in the primary, CNN said, which is also being contested by New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former City Comptroller Bill Thompson.
Costly malfunction causes beer flood at Boston-area brewery
Wisconsin business offering 'therapeutic cuddling' forced to close