[ jin-jer-lee ]
/ ˈdʒɪn dʒər li /


with great care or caution; warily.


cautious, careful, or wary.

Nearby words

  1. ginger wine,
  2. gingerbread,
  3. gingerbread palm,
  4. gingerbread plum,
  5. gingerbread tree,
  6. gingerroot,
  7. gingersnap,
  8. gingery,
  9. gingham,
  10. gingili

Origin of gingerly

1510–20; ginger-, perhaps < Middle French gensor, genzor delicate, pretty, positive use of comparative of gent gentle; see -ly

Related formsgin·ger·li·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gingerly

British Dictionary definitions for gingerly


/ (ˈdʒɪndʒəlɪ) /


in a cautious, reluctant, or timid manner


cautious, reluctant, or timid
Derived Formsgingerliness, noun

Word Origin for gingerly

C16: perhaps from Old French gensor dainty, from gent of noble birth; see gentle

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 gingerly



1510s, "elegantly, daintily," perhaps from Old French gensor, comp. of gent "dainty, delicate," from Latin gentius "(well)-born" (see gentle). Meaning "extremely cautiously" is from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper