• synonyms


[jim-buh lz, gim-]
noun (used with a singular verb)
  1. 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.
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Origin of gimbals

First recorded in 1570–80; alteration of gimmal
Also called gimbal ring.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gimbals

Historical Examples

  • The shill led the way to an eight-foot tower mounted on gimbals.

    Gambler's World

    John Keith Laumer

  • Marine chronometers are supported in their cases or boxes by gimbals.

    Time Telling through the Ages

    Harry Chase Brearley

  • He struck a match and lighted a lamp that hung in gimbals on the bulkhead.

  • When fitted in gimbals, it can be used at sea with much advantage.

  • To effect this they are suspended in gimbals by a brass arm.

British Dictionary definitions for gimbals


pl n
  1. 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
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Word Origin

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