a limp.
Usually Disparaging and Offensive. a term used to refer to a person who limps or is lame.

verb (used without object)

to limp; walk in a halting manner: a sprain that made her gimp for weeks.

Origin of gimp

An Americanism dating back to 1920–25; origin uncertain
Related formsgimp·y, adjective

Usage note

When describing someone who is lame, gimp is used with disparaging intent and perceived as insulting. But within the disability community, it is sometimes a term of self-reference. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gimpy

Contemporary Examples of gimpy

  • How tiresome a reverse fashion show the movie provided in rags, carbuncles, gimpy legs, and bad teeth?

    The Daily Beast logo
    Why All the Hate for Les Mis?

    Megan McArdle

    January 7, 2013

Historical Examples of gimpy

  • "Gimpy Gordon's meandering mind is well understood for what it is," he said.

    The Big Fix

    George Oliver Smith

  • Gimpy Gordon scuttled out of my bailiwick almost on a dead run.

    The Big Fix

    George Oliver Smith

  • Gimpy looked at Barcelona's stormy face and he grew frightened.

    The Big Fix

    George Oliver Smith

  • Two of the boys, "Gimpy" and Lem, were conferring aside in an undertone.

  • Gimpy smiled a little disdainfully at the credulity of the “kids.”


    Jacob A. Riis

British Dictionary definitions for gimpy



the US equivalent of gammy





a tapelike trimming of silk, wool, or cotton, often stiffened with wire

Word Origin for gimp

C17: probably from Dutch gimp, of unknown origin




US and Canadian offensive, slang a physically disabled person, esp one who is lame
slang a sexual fetishist who likes to be dominated and who dresses in a leather or rubber body suit with mask, zips, and chains

Word Origin for gimp

C20: of unknown origin
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 gimpy

1925 (n.); 1931 (adj.); hobo slang, from gimp + -y.



also gymp, ornamental material for trimming dresses, furniture, etc., 1660s, from French guimpe, Old French guimple "wimple, headdress, veil," from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German wimpal).



1925, "a crippled leg," also "a crippled person," perhaps by association with limp, or a corruption of gammy (see game (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper