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gig1

[gig]
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noun
  1. a light, two-wheeled one-horse carriage.
  2. Nautical.
    1. a light boat rowed with four, six, or eight long oars.
    2. a boat reserved for the use of the captain of a ship.
  3. something that whirls.
  4. Also called gig mill. a roller containing teasels, used for raising nap on a fabric.
  5. Obsolete. whirligig(def 5).
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verb (used without object), gigged, gig·ging.
  1. to ride in a gig.
  2. to raise the nap on (a fabric).
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Origin of gig1

1200–50; Middle English gigge, gig flighty girl; akin to Danish gig top; compare Norwegian giga to shake about

gig2

[gig]
noun
  1. a device, commonly four hooks secured back to back, for dragging through a school of fish to hook them through the body.
  2. a spearlike device with a long, thick handle, used for spearing fish and frogs.
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verb (used with object), gigged, gig·ging.
  1. to catch or spear (a fish or frog) with a gig.
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verb (used without object), gigged, gig·ging.
  1. to catch fish or frogs with a gig.
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Origin of gig2

1715–25; shortened from fishgig or fizgig

gig3

[gig]
noun
  1. an official report of a minor infraction of regulations, as in school or the army; a demerit.
  2. a punishment for a minor infraction of rules.
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verb (used with object), gigged, gig·ging.
  1. to give a gig to or punish with a gig.
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Origin of gig3

First recorded in 1940–45; origin uncertain

gig4

[gig]Slang.
noun
  1. a single professional engagement, usually of short duration, as of jazz or rock musicians.
  2. any job, especially one of short or uncertain duration: a teaching gig out west somewhere.
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verb (used without object), gigged, gig·ging.
  1. to work as a musician, especially in a single engagement: He gigged with some of the biggest names in the business.
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Origin of gig4

First recorded in 1925–30; origin uncertain

gig5

Informal.
noun
  1. a gigabyte.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for gig

gig1

noun
  1. a light two-wheeled one-horse carriage without a hood
  2. nautical a light tender for a vessel, often for the personal use of the captain
  3. a long light rowing boat, used esp for racing
  4. a machine for raising the nap of a fabric
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verb gigs, gigging or gigged
  1. (intr) to travel in a gig
  2. (tr) to raise the nap of (fabric)
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Word Origin

C13 (in the sense: flighty girl, spinning top): perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Danish gig top, Norwegian giga to shake about

gig2

noun
  1. a cluster of barbless hooks drawn through a shoal of fish to try to impale them
  2. short for fishgig
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verb gigs, gigging or gigged
  1. to catch (fish) with a gig
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Word Origin

C18: shortened from fishgig

gig3

noun
  1. a job, esp a single booking for a musician, comedian, etc, to perform at a concert or club
  2. the performance itself
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verb gigs, gigging or gigged
  1. (intr) to perform at a gig or gigs
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Word Origin

C20: of unknown origin

gig4

noun
  1. informal short for gigabyte
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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 gig

n.1

"light carriage, small boat," 1790, perhaps, on notion of bouncing, from Middle English ghyg "spinning top" (in whyrlegyg, mid-15c.), also "giddy girl" (early 13c., also giglet), from Old Norse geiga "turn sideways," or Danish gig "spinning top."

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n.2

"job," first used by jazz musicians, attested from 1915 but said to have been in use c.1905; of uncertain origin. As a verb, by 1939. Related: Gigged; gigging.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper