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gimlet

[gim-lit] /ˈgɪm lɪt/
noun
1.
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.
2.
a cocktail made with gin or vodka, sweetened lime juice, and sometimes soda water.
verb (used with object)
3.
to pierce with or as if with a gimlet.
4.
Also, gimblet
[gim-blit] /ˈgɪm blɪt/ (Show IPA)
. Nautical. to rotate (a suspended anchor) to a desired position.
adjective
5.
able to penetrate or bore through.
Origin of gimlet
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English < Old French guimbelet < Germanic; compare Middle Dutch wimmel wimble
Related forms
gimlety, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for gimlet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • On a balcony below a lady with faded hair and gimlet eyes pounced at her.

  • He was no doubt the head doctor, for his glance was as sharp and piercing as a gimlet.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Willy said she was welcome to the gimlet, but that he advised her to leave it alone, for that she would only break my feet.

  • Just for a moment he looked into the gimlet eyes of the other.

  • He became angry, and exclaimed petulantly: "Why, it would take a gimlet to put a joke into the heads of you Scotchmen."

    Scotch Wit and Humor W. H. (Walter Henry) Howe
  • Cullison was looking at him with the steel eyes 56 that bored into him like a gimlet.

    Crooked Trails and Straight William MacLeod Raine
British Dictionary definitions for gimlet

gimlet

/ˈɡɪmlɪt/
noun
1.
a small hand tool consisting of a pointed spiral tip attached at right angles to a handle, used for boring small holes in wood
2.
(US) a cocktail consisting of half gin or vodka and half lime juice
3.
a eucalyptus of W Australia having a twisted bole
verb
4.
(transitive) to make holes in (wood) using a gimlet
adjective
5.
penetrating; piercing (esp in the phrase gimlet-eyed)
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for gimlet
n.

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
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