• synonyms


noun, plural Guern·seys for 2, 3.
  1. Isle of, one of the Channel Islands, in the English Channel. With adjacent islands, about 24½ sq. mi. (63 sq. km).
  2. one of a breed of dairy cattle, raised originally on the Isle of Guernsey, producing rich, golden-tinted milk.
  3. (lowercase) a close-fitting knitted woolen shirt worn by sailors and soccer or Rugby players.
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Origin of Guernsey

1825–35, for def 2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for guernsey

Historical Examples

  • Have you consulted your parents as to their living with them in Guernsey?

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • The Bailiff of Guernsey still uses a facsimile of the original seal.

  • Cow killed by lightning, or by what looked like lightning (Isle of Sark, near Guernsey).

  • In Guernsey, a mother and her two daughters were brought to the stake.

    The Reign of Mary Tudor

    W. Llewelyn Williams.

  • In Guernsey the Catioroc is always identified as the site of the Sabbath.

British Dictionary definitions for guernsey


  1. an island in the English Channel: the second largest of the Channel Islands, which, with Alderney and Sark, Herm, Jethou, and some islets, forms the bailiwick of Guernsey; finance, market gardening, dairy farming, and tourism. Capital: St Peter Port. Pop: 65 605 (2013). Area: 63 sq km (24.5 sq miles)
  2. a breed of dairy cattle producing rich creamy milk, originating from the island of Guernsey
  3. (sometimes not capital) a seaman's knitted woollen sweater
  4. (not capital) Australian a sleeveless woollen shirt or jumper worn by a football player
  5. get a guernsey Australian to be selected or gain recognition for something
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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 guernsey


breed of cattle, 1834, from the Channel Island where it was bred; the island name is Viking. Like neighboring Jersey, it was also taken as the name for a coarse, close-fitting vest of wool (1839), and in Australia the word supplies many of the usages of jersey in U.S. The second element of the name is Old Norse ey "island;" the first element uncertain, traditionally meaning "green," but perhaps rather representing a Viking personal name, e.g. Grani.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper