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gimlet

[gim-lit]
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noun
  1. a small tool for boring holes, consisting of a shaft with a pointed screw at one end and a handle perpendicular to the shaft at the other.
  2. a cocktail made with gin or vodka, sweetened lime juice, and sometimes soda water.
verb (used with object)
  1. to pierce with or as if with a gimlet.
  2. Also gim·blet [gim-blit] /ˈgɪm blɪt/. Nautical. to rotate (a suspended anchor) to a desired position.
adjective
  1. able to penetrate or bore through.

Origin of gimlet

1375–1425; late Middle English < Old French guimbelet < Germanic; compare Middle Dutch wimmel wimble
Related formsgim·let·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gimblet

Historical Examples

  • When I called again, Will, I was shown in to an old lord, sharp as a gimblet.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Gimblet asked her for a list of the jewels and received the same that he had had from Blake.

    Mrs. Vanderstein's jewels

    Mrs. Charles Bryce

  • Gimblet thought of the train that was to have carried him to the golf links.

    Mrs. Vanderstein's jewels

    Mrs. Charles Bryce

  • It was tiresome, and Gimblet felt irritated with the lady for her lack of courtesy.

    Mrs. Vanderstein's jewels

    Mrs. Charles Bryce

  • Gimblet hurried to the instrument and Higgs went to answer the door.

    Mrs. Vanderstein's jewels

    Mrs. Charles Bryce


British Dictionary definitions for gimblet

gimlet

noun
  1. a small hand tool consisting of a pointed spiral tip attached at right angles to a handle, used for boring small holes in wood
  2. US a cocktail consisting of half gin or vodka and half lime juice
  3. a eucalyptus of W Australia having a twisted bole
verb
  1. (tr) to make holes in (wood) using a gimlet
adjective
  1. penetrating; piercing (esp in the phrase gimlet-eyed)

Word Origin

C15: from Old French guimbelet, of Germanic origin, see wimble
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 gimblet

gimlet

n.

boring-tool, mid-14c., gymbelette, from Anglo-French guimbelet (French gibelet), perhaps from Middle Dutch wimmelkijn (with substitute of French diminutive suffix), diminutive of wimmel "auger, drill." The meaning "cocktail made with gin or vodka and lime juice" is first attested 1928, presumably from its "penetrating" effects on the drinker.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper