- the main or essential part of a matter: What was the gist of his speech?
- the ground of a legal action.
Origin of gist
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for gist
Mrs. Kennedy, interpreting the gist of the exchange, signaled to White that Camelot must be kept in the text.How Jackie Kennedy Invented the Camelot Legend After JFK’s Death
November 12, 2013
One niece of a victim wrote her a letter, the gist of which was, “Lois Robison, shut up,” she said.Wisconsin Spa Shooting Brings Back Painful Memories for the Moms of Mass Killers
October 25, 2012
But, in short, the gist of this argument is: Afghanistan's a loser.Don’t Abandon Afghanistan!
June 9, 2011
Now, Smith, you've given me the gist of the matter, haven't you?The Cavalier
George Washington Cable
I don't know that I could repeat it word for word, but I could certainly give the gist of it.Jennie Baxter, Journalist
I want to have the gist of them before the London Syndicate sees them.A Woman Intervenes
That has been the gist of Axelson's repeated communications.
And this was the gist of most of the expressed sentiments which came to him.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete
Albert Bigelow Paine
- the point or substance of an argument, speech, etc
- law the essential point of an action
Word Origin and History for gist
1711, "the real point" (of a law case, etc.), from Anglo-French legalese phrases, e.g. cest action gist "this action lies," meaning "this case is sustainable by law," from Old French gist en "it consists in, it lies in" (third person singular present indicative of gésir "to lie"), from Latin iacet "it lies," from iacere "to lie, rest," related to iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)). Extended sense of "essence" first recorded 1823.