[ jip-see ]
See synonyms for gypsy on
noun,plural gyp·sies.
  1. (initial capital letter)Sometimes Disparaging and Offensive. Roma1 (def. 1). : See Usage note at the current entry.

  2. (initial capital letter) (not in technical use) the Indic language of the Roma; Romani.

  1. a person held to resemble a Roma, especially in physical characteristics or in a traditionally ascribed freedom or inclination to move from place to place.

  2. Informal. gypsy cab.

  3. Informal. an independent, usually nonunion trucker, hauler, operator, etc.

  4. Slang. a chorus dancer, especially in the Broadway theater.

  5. (in horse racing) gyp1 (def. 4).

  1. (initial capital letter)Sometimes Disparaging and Offensive. of or relating to the Roma; Romani.

  2. Informal. working independently or without a license: gypsy truckers.

Origin of gypsy

First recorded in 1505–15; back formation of gipcyan, variant of Egyptian (showing a loss of the unstressed initial syllable), from the mistaken belief that Gypsies came originally from Egypt
  • Also especially British, gipsy, Gip·sy .

usage note For gypsy

The Roma have commonly been called Gypsies . However, Gypsy is a word that has also been used as a disparaging slur for this ethnic group, and many Romani people find it offensive. The collective members of this tribe are best referred to with the plural noun Roma . To refer to an individual, Rom and Romani are the preferred singular forms.

Other words from gypsy

  • gyp·sy·dom, noun
  • gyp·sy·esque, gyp·sy·ish, gyp·sy·like, gyp·se·ian, adjective
  • gyp·sy·hood, noun
  • gyp·sy·ism, noun
  • non-Gyp·sy, noun, plural non-Gyp·sies.

Words Nearby gypsy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use gypsy in a sentence

  • She was a thin, dark-eyed creature, with a gypsy face and a quantity of gray hair wound about on the top of her head.

    Country Neighbors | Alice Brown
  • Her gypsy face shone radiant out of her black cloth hood, and Ronald's was no less luminous.

  • Besides a tarantass, drawn by good Siberian horses, will always go faster than a gypsy cart!

    Michael Strogoff | Jules Verne
  • But the stars and the gypsy brethren forbid the banns, so they part eternally.

    Lavengro | George Borrow
  • Which is a pity; a gypsy Quakeress would be a charming fancy.

    Lavengro | George Borrow

British Dictionary definitions for Gypsy



/ (ˈdʒɪpsɪ) /

nounplural -sies (sometimes not capital)
    • a member of a people scattered throughout Europe and North America, who maintain a nomadic way of life in industrialized societies. They migrated from NW India from about the 9th century onwards

    • (as modifier): a Gypsy fortune-teller

  1. the language of the Gypsies; Romany

  1. a person who looks or behaves like a Gypsy

Origin of Gypsy

C16: from Egyptian, since they were thought to have come originally from Egypt

Derived forms of Gypsy

  • Gypsydom or Gipsydom, noun
  • Gypsyhood or Gipsyhood, noun
  • Gypsyish or Gipsyish, adjective
  • Gypsy-like or Gipsy-like, adjective

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