• synonyms


[ jel ]
/ dʒɛl /


Physical Chemistry. a semirigid colloidal dispersion of a solid with a liquid or gas, as jelly, glue, etc.
Theater. gelatin(def 5).
Biochemistry. a semirigid polymer, as agarose, starch, cellulose acetate, or polyacrylamide, cast into slabs or cylinders for the electrophoretic separation of proteins and nucleic acids.

verb (used without object), gelled, gel·ling.

to form or become a gel.


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materialize, crystallize, fix, strengthen, reinforce, solidify, stabilize, clot, curdle, swell, congeal, condense, transpire, ensue, befall, arise, thicken, stiffen, set, finalize

Nearby words

geisel, theodor seuss, geisha, geissler tube, geist, geitonogamy, gel, gel diffusion precipitin test, gel electrophoresis, gel mineral, gel pen, gela

Origin of gel

First recorded in 1895–1900; shortening of gelatin
Related formsde·gel, verb (used with object), de·gelled, de·gel·ling.non·gel·ling, adjectivere·gel, verb (used without object), re·gelled, re·gel·ling. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gelled

  • The quirky tenor of his voice, combined with his observant, mocking tone, gelled perfectly with the screwball proceedings.

    Why ‘Arrested Development’s’ Fourth Season Is a Bust: Contracts and More|Marlow Stern|May 28, 2013|DAILY BEAST
  • In a second embodiment of this invention, 1,2-butylene oxide may be used in a gelled state.

  • He'd shaved and gelled his hair back, and had put on a crisp military dress uniform with a row of campaign ribbons on the breast.

    Little Brother|Cory Doctorow

British Dictionary definitions for gelled


/ (dʒɛl) /


a semirigid jelly-like colloid in which a liquid is dispersed in a solidnondrip paint is a gel
theatre informal See gelatine (def. 4)

verb gels, gelling or gelled

to become or cause to become a gel
a variant spelling of jell

Word Origin for gel

C19: by shortening from gelatine
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 gelled



1899, as a chemical term, short for gelatin and perhaps influenced by jell. The invention of this word is credited to Scottish chemist Thomas Graham (1805-1869). Hair-styling sense is from 1958. The verb meaning "to become a gel" is attested by 1902; figurative sense is from 1958. Related: Gelled; gelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for gelled


[ jĕl ]


A colloid in which the disperse phase combines with the dispersion medium to produce a semisolid material.


To become a gel.
To convert a sol into a gel.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.