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verb (used with object), gird·ed or girt, gird·ing.
  1. to encircle or bind with a belt or band.
  2. to surround; enclose; hem in.
  3. to prepare (oneself) for action: He girded himself for the trial ahead.
  4. to provide, equip, or invest, as with power or strength.

Origin of gird1

before 950; Middle English girden, Old English gyrdan; cognate with German gürten
Related formsgird·ing·ly, adverb


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3. brace, steel, fortify, strengthen.


verb (used without object)
  1. to gibe; jeer (usually followed by at).
verb (used with object)
  1. to gibe or jeer at; taunt.
  1. a gibe.

Origin of gird2

1175–1225; Middle English gyrd a stroke, blow, hence a cutting remark, derivative of girden to strike, smite < ?
Related formsgird·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for gird


verb girds, girding, girded or girt (tr)
  1. to put a belt, girdle, etc, around (the waist or hips)
  2. to bind or secure with or as if with a beltto gird on one's armour
  3. to surround; encircle
  4. to prepare (oneself) for action (esp in the phrase gird (up) one's loins)
  5. to endow with a rank, attribute, etc, esp knighthood

Word Origin

Old English gyrdan, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse gyrtha, Old High German gurten


  1. (when intr, foll by at) to jeer (at someone); mock
  2. (tr) to strike (a blow at someone)
  3. (intr) to move at high speed
    1. a blow or stroke
    2. a taunt; gibe
  1. a display of bad temper or anger (esp in the phrases in a gird; throw a gird)

Word Origin

C13 girden to strike, cut, of unknown origin


  1. Scot a hoop, esp a child's hoopAlso: girr

Word Origin

a Scot variant of girth
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 gird


Old English gyrdan "put a belt or girdle around; encircle, surround; invest with attributes," from Proto-Germanic *gurthjanan (cf. Old Norse gyrða, Old Saxon gurdian, Old Frisian gerda, Dutch gorden, Old High German gurtan, German gürten). Related to Old English geard "hedge, enclosure" (see yard (n.1)). Related: Girded; girding.

Throughout its whole history the English word is chiefly employed in rhetorical language, in many instances with more or less direct allusion to biblical passages. [OED]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper