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[jim-buh lz, gim-] /ˈdʒɪm bəlz, ˈgɪm-/
noun, (used with a singular verb)
Sometimes, gimbal. a contrivance, consisting of a ring or base on an axis, that permits an object, as a ship's compass, mounted in or on it to tilt freely in any direction, in effect suspending the object so that it will remain horizontal even when its support is tipped.
Also called gimbal ring.
Origin of gimbals
First recorded in 1570-80; alteration of gimmal Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for gimbal


/ˈdʒɪmbəlz; ˈɡɪm-/
plural noun
a device, consisting of two or three pivoted rings at right angles to each other, that provides free suspension in all planes for an object such as a gyroscope, compass, chronometer, etc Also called gimbal ring
Word Origin
C16: variant of earlier gimmal finger ring, from Old French gemel, from Latin gemellus, diminutive of geminus twin
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
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Word Origin and History for gimbal

1570s, "joints, connecting links;" alteration of gemel "twins" (late 14c.), from Old French jumel (Modern French jumeau) "a twin," from Latin gemellus, diminutive of geminus (see geminate). Related: Gimbals.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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