or gif

[ jif or, sometimes, gif ]

  1. a set of standards and file format for storage of digital color images and short animations.

  2. a file or image stored in this format.

verb (used with object),GIFFed or giffed, GIFF·ing or gif·fing.
  1. to create a static or animated GIF from (an image or set of images): She GIFFed her favorite actor having a good laugh and posted it on her blog.

Origin of GIF

First recorded in 1985–90; g(raphic) i(nterchange) f(ormat)

pronunciation note For GIF

It is understandable that computer users who encounter this acronym for the first time might well assume that since the “G” stands for “graphic,” gif should similarly be pronounced with an initial hard g, as in go and give. However, the inventor of the format, Steve Wilhite, has insisted from its introduction at a computer conference in the late 1980s that the pronunciation is [jif], /dʒɪf/, with an initial soft g, as in gelatin and giant. That pronunciation is even part of the official specifications for the format and is the one used by many computer gurus, but both pronunciations are commonly in use.

Words Nearby GIF Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use GIF in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for GIF


/ (ɡɪf) /

    • a standard compressed file format used for pictures

    • a picture held in this format

Origin of GIF

C20: from g (raphic) i (nterchange) f (ormat)

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