[ gim-lit ]
/ ˈgɪm lɪt /


a small tool for boring holes, consisting of a shaft with a pointed screw at one end and a handle perpendicular to the shaft at the other.
a cocktail made with gin or vodka, sweetened lime juice, and sometimes soda water.

verb (used with object)

to pierce with or as if with a gimlet.
Also gim·blet [gim-blit] /ˈgɪm blɪt/. Nautical. to rotate (a suspended anchor) to a desired position.


able to penetrate or bore through.

Origin of gimlet

1375–1425; late Middle English < Old French guimbelet < Germanic; compare Middle Dutch wimmel wimble
Related formsgim·let·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gimlet

British Dictionary definitions for gimlet


/ (ˈɡɪmlɪt) /


a small hand tool consisting of a pointed spiral tip attached at right angles to a handle, used for boring small holes in wood
US a cocktail consisting of half gin or vodka and half lime juice
a eucalyptus of W Australia having a twisted bole


(tr) to make holes in (wood) using a gimlet


penetrating; piercing (esp in the phrase gimlet-eyed)

Word Origin for gimlet

C15: from Old French guimbelet, of Germanic origin, see wimble
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 gimlet



boring-tool, mid-14c., gymbelette, from Anglo-French guimbelet (French gibelet), perhaps from Middle Dutch wimmelkijn (with substitute of French diminutive suffix), diminutive of wimmel "auger, drill." The meaning "cocktail made with gin or vodka and lime juice" is first attested 1928, presumably from its "penetrating" effects on the drinker.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper