- to gut or clean (fish).
- to catch (fish) by the gills in a gill net.
- green/white around the gills, somewhat pale, as from being sickly, nervous, or frightened: When he heard how much the bill was, he looked a little green around the gills.
- to the gills, Informal. fully; completely; totally: After that big meal we were all stuffed to the gills.
Origin of gill1
- a unit of liquid measure equal to ¼ pint (118.2937 ml).
Origin of gill2
- a deep rocky cleft or wooded ravine forming the course of a stream.
- a stream; brook; rivulet.
Origin of gill3
- a girl or young woman; sweetheart.
Origin of gill4
- a faller used in the combing process, generally for only the highest-quality fibers.
- to comb (fibers) with a gill.
Origin of gill5
- a male given name.
- a female given name.
Examples from the Web for gills
Our lovely hotel perched on top a steep hill overlooking the mountains was also packed to the gills.For Ukrainians on Holiday, the Carpathians Are the New Crimea
July 14, 2014
Meant to capture fish by the gills (hence the name), they snare anything from sea turtles to dolphins.New Report Reveals U.S. Fisheries Killing Thousands of Protected and Endangered Species
March 23, 2014
They seem, in fact, like cranky, petulant children, coked to the gills.Stacks: Hitting the Note with the Allman Brothers Band
March 15, 2014
Federal courthouses are backlogged and stuffed to the gills as it is.The Biggest Lie of All
August 30, 2012
A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man—who has no gills.The Devil's Dictionary
He may be known from the other varieties by the redness of his gills.
If good, their gills are of a fine red, and the eyes bright; as is likewise the whole fish, which must be stiff and firm.
The gills are somewhat narrower toward the stem than they are in the middle.
When they are colored, they change the appearance of the gills.
- (sometimes singular) the wattle of birds such as domestic fowl
- green around the gills or green about the gills informal looking or feeling nauseated
- (Arthur) Eric (Rowton). 1882–1940, British sculptor, engraver, and typographer: his sculptures include the Stations of the Cross in Westminster Cathedral, London
- the respiratory organ in many aquatic animals, consisting of a membrane or outgrowth well supplied with blood vessels. External gills occur in tadpoles, some molluscs, etc; internal gills, within gill slits, occur in most fishesRelated adjective: branchial
- any of the radiating leaflike spore-producing structures on the undersurface of the cap of a mushroom
- to catch (fish) or (of fish) to be caught in a gill net
- (tr) to gut (fish)
- a unit of liquid measure equal to one quarter of a pint
- Northern English dialect half a pint, esp of beer
- a narrow stream; rivulet
- a wooded ravine
- (capital when part of place name) a deep natural hole in rock; potholeGaping Gill
- archaic a girl or sweetheart
- dialect a female ferretAlso spelt: jill
- an archaic or dialect name for ground ivy
Word Origin and History for gills
"organ of breathing in fishes," early 14c., of unknown origin, perhaps from a Scandinavian source, e.g. Old Norse giolnar which perhaps means "gills;" Old Danish -gæln (in fiske-gæln "fish gill"). Related: Gills.
liquid measure (commonly a half-pint), late 13c., from Old French gille, a wine measure, and directly from Medieval Latin gillo "earthenware jar," of uncertain origin.
fem. proper name, see Jill.
- The organ that enables most aquatic animals to take dissolved oxygen from the water. It consists of a series of membranes that have many small blood vessels. Oxygen passes into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide passes out of it as water flows across the membranes.
- One of the thin strips of tissue on the underside of the cap of many species of basidiomycete fungi. Gills produce the spore-bearing structures known as basidia.
Idioms and Phrases with gills
see fed to the gills; green about the gills.