[jim-buh lz, gim-]

noun (used with a singular verb)

Sometimes gimbal. a contrivance, consisting of a ring or base on an axis, that permits an object, as a ship's compass, mounted in or on it to tilt freely in any direction, in effect suspending the object so that it will remain horizontal even when its support is tipped.

Nearby words

  1. gilt bronze,
  2. gilt-edged,
  3. gilthead,
  4. gilyak,
  5. gimbal,
  6. gimbel,
  7. gimcrack,
  8. gimcrackery,
  9. gimel,
  10. gimlet

Origin of gimbals

First recorded in 1570–80; alteration of gimmal

Also called gimbal ring. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for gimbal-ring


pl n

a device, consisting of two or three pivoted rings at right angles to each other, that provides free suspension in all planes for an object such as a gyroscope, compass, chronometer, etcAlso called: gimbal ring

Word Origin for gimbals

C16: variant of earlier gimmal finger ring, from Old French gemel, from Latin gemellus, diminutive of geminus twin

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