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gill1

[gil]
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noun
  1. the respiratory organ of aquatic animals, as fish, that breathe oxygen dissolved in water.
  2. Also called lamella. one of the radiating vertical plates on the underside of the cap of an agaric mushroom.
  3. ground ivy.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to gut or clean (fish).
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Idioms
  1. to catch (fish) by the gills in a gill net.
  2. green/white around the gills, somewhat pale, as from being sickly, nervous, or frightened: When he heard how much the bill was, he looked a little green around the gills.
  3. to the gills, Informal. fully; completely; totally: After that big meal we were all stuffed to the gills.
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Origin of gill1

1300–50; Middle English gile < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse gjǫlnar < *gelnō; cognate with Swed gäl, Danish gælle, Norwegian gjelle gill
Related formsgill-less, adjectivegill-like, adjective

gill2

[jil]
noun
  1. a unit of liquid measure equal to ¼ pint (118.2937 ml).
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Origin of gill2

1225–75; Middle English gille < Old French: vat, tub < Late Latin gello, gillo water pot

gill3

[gil]
noun British.
  1. a deep rocky cleft or wooded ravine forming the course of a stream.
  2. a stream; brook; rivulet.
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Origin of gill3

1350–1400; Middle English gille < Old Norse gil

gill4

[jil]
noun
  1. a girl or young woman; sweetheart.
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Origin of gill4

1400–50; late Middle English gil(le) generic use of Gil(le), short form of Gillian; see Gillian

gill5

[gil]Textiles.
noun
  1. a faller used in the combing process, generally for only the highest-quality fibers.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to comb (fibers) with a gill.
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Origin of gill5

First recorded in 1830–40; perhaps special use of gill1

Gill

[gil for 1; jil for 2]
noun
  1. a male given name.
  2. a female given name.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for gills

gills

pl n
  1. (sometimes singular) the wattle of birds such as domestic fowl
  2. green around the gills or green about the gills informal looking or feeling nauseated
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Gill

noun
  1. (Arthur) Eric (Rowton). 1882–1940, British sculptor, engraver, and typographer: his sculptures include the Stations of the Cross in Westminster Cathedral, London
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gill1

noun
  1. the respiratory organ in many aquatic animals, consisting of a membrane or outgrowth well supplied with blood vessels. External gills occur in tadpoles, some molluscs, etc; internal gills, within gill slits, occur in most fishesRelated adjective: branchial
  2. any of the radiating leaflike spore-producing structures on the undersurface of the cap of a mushroom
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verb
  1. to catch (fish) or (of fish) to be caught in a gill net
  2. (tr) to gut (fish)
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See also gills
Derived Formsgilled, adjectivegill-less, adjectivegill-like, adjective

Word Origin

C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish gäl, Danish gjælle, Greek khelunē lip

gill2

noun
  1. a unit of liquid measure equal to one quarter of a pint
  2. Northern English dialect half a pint, esp of beer
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French gille vat, tub, from Late Latin gillō cooling vessel for liquids, of obscure origin

gill3

ghyll

noun dialect
  1. a narrow stream; rivulet
  2. a wooded ravine
  3. (capital when part of place name) a deep natural hole in rock; potholeGaping Gill
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Word Origin

C11: from Old Norse gil steep-sided valley

gill4

noun
  1. archaic a girl or sweetheart
  2. dialect a female ferretAlso spelt: jill
  3. an archaic or dialect name for ground ivy
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Word Origin

C15: special use of Gill, short for Gillian, girl's name
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for gills

gill

n.1

"organ of breathing in fishes," early 14c., of unknown origin, perhaps from a Scandinavian source, e.g. Old Norse giolnar which perhaps means "gills;" Old Danish -gæln (in fiske-gæln "fish gill"). Related: Gills.

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gill

n.2

liquid measure (commonly a half-pint), late 13c., from Old French gille, a wine measure, and directly from Medieval Latin gillo "earthenware jar," of uncertain origin.

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Gill

fem. proper name, see Jill.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gills in Science

gill

[gĭl]
  1. The organ that enables most aquatic animals to take dissolved oxygen from the water. It consists of a series of membranes that have many small blood vessels. Oxygen passes into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide passes out of it as water flows across the membranes.
  2. One of the thin strips of tissue on the underside of the cap of many species of basidiomycete fungi. Gills produce the spore-bearing structures known as basidia.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with gills

gills

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.