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gill1

[gil] /gɪl/
noun
1.
the respiratory organ of aquatic animals, as fish, that breathe oxygen dissolved in water.
2.
Also called lamella. one of the radiating vertical plates on the underside of the cap of an agaric mushroom.
verb (used with object)
4.
to gut or clean (fish).
Idioms
5.
to catch (fish) by the gills in a gill net.
6.
green / white around the gills, somewhat pale, as from being sickly, nervous, or frightened:
When he heard how much the bill was, he looked a little green around the gills.
7.
to the gills, Informal. fully; completely; totally:
After that big meal we were all stuffed to the gills.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English gile < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse gjǫlnar < *gelnō; cognate with Swed gäl, Danish gælle, Norwegian gjelle gill
Related forms
gill-less, adjective
gill-like, adjective

gill2

[jil] /dʒɪl/
noun
1.
a unit of liquid measure equal to ¼ pint (118.2937 ml).
Origin
1225-75; Middle English gille < Old French: vat, tub < Late Latin gello, gillo water pot

gill3

[gil] /gɪl/
noun, British
1.
a deep rocky cleft or wooded ravine forming the course of a stream.
2.
a stream; brook; rivulet.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English gille < Old Norse gil

gill4

[jil] /dʒɪl/
noun
1.
a girl or young woman; sweetheart.
Origin
1400-50; late Middle English gil(le) generic use of Gil(le), short form of Gillian; see Gillian

gill5

[gil] /gɪl/
noun
1.
a faller used in the combing process, generally for only the highest-quality fibers.
verb (used with object)
2.
to comb (fibers) with a gill.
Origin
1830-40; perhaps special use of gill1

Gill

[gil for 1; jil for 2] /gɪl for 1; dʒɪl for 2/
noun
1.
a male given name.
2.
a female given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for gills
  • Pull off and discard long, spongy gills from sides of body.
  • Your fish doesn't have lungs, and gills only work in water.
  • The whale sharks were as far as the eye can see, feeding on tiny shrimp that they filter through their gills and mouth.
  • In fact, from fish due to the identical gills displayed in the human embryo.
  • Guests should beware the infamous carp, bought in advance and kept for days in the bath to clean its gills.
  • These carp eat only plankton, which they filter from the water with rakers in their gills.
  • Being shark-loving researchers, they had to keep the beast alive by constantly pouring water over its gills.
  • Huge gills enable them to live in oxygen-deficient water.
  • It's a big, friendly buddies-with-beers free-wheeling good time packed to the gills with singles destined for the charts.
  • The lobster's body shrinks, the old shell splits open, and the animal's twenty pairs of gills stop beating.
British Dictionary definitions for gills

gills

/ɡɪlz/
plural noun
1.
(sometimes sing) the wattle of birds such as domestic fowl
2.
(informal) green around the gills, green about the gills, looking or feeling nauseated

gill1

/ɡɪl/
noun
1.
the respiratory organ in many aquatic animals, consisting of a membrane or outgrowth well supplied with blood vessels. External gills occur in tadpoles, some molluscs, etc; internal gills, within gill slits, occur in most fishes related adjective branchial
2.
any of the radiating leaflike spore-producing structures on the undersurface of the cap of a mushroom
verb
3.
to catch (fish) or (of fish) to be caught in a gill net
4.
(transitive) to gut (fish)
See also gills
Derived Forms
gilled, adjective
gill-less, adjective
gill-like, adjective
Word Origin
C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish gäl, Danish gjælle, Greek khelunē lip

gill2

/dʒɪl/
noun
1.
a unit of liquid measure equal to one quarter of a pint
2.
(Northern English, dialect) half a pint, esp of beer
Word Origin
C14: from Old French gille vat, tub, from Late Latin gillō cooling vessel for liquids, of obscure origin

gill3

/ɡɪl/
noun (dialect)
1.
a narrow stream; rivulet
2.
a wooded ravine
3.
(capital when part of place name) a deep natural hole in rock; pothole: Gaping Gill
Word Origin
C11: from Old Norse gil steep-sided valley

gill4

/dʒɪl/
noun
1.
(archaic) a girl or sweetheart
2.
(dialect) a female ferret Also spelt jill
3.
an archaic or dialect name for ground ivy
Word Origin
C15: special use of Gill, short for Gillian, girl's name

Gill

/ɡɪl/
noun
1.
(Arthur) Eric (Rowton). 1882–1940, British sculptor, engraver, and typographer: his sculptures include the Stations of the Cross in Westminster Cathedral, London
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 gills

gill

n.

"organ of breathing in fishes," early 14c., of unknown origin, perhaps from a Scandinavian source, e.g. Old Norse giolnar which perhaps means "gills;" Old Danish -gæln (in fiske-gæln "fish gill"). Related: Gills.

liquid measure (commonly a half-pint), late 13c., from Old French gille, a wine measure, and directly from Medieval Latin gillo "earthenware jar," of uncertain origin.

Gill

fem. proper name, see Jill.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gills in Science
gill
  (gĭl)   

  1. The organ that enables most aquatic animals to take dissolved oxygen from the water. It consists of a series of membranes that have many small blood vessels. Oxygen passes into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide passes out of it as water flows across the membranes.

  2. One of the thin strips of tissue on the underside of the cap of many species of basidiomycete fungi. Gills produce the spore-bearing structures known as basidia.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for gills
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with gills
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for gills

gill

in biology, type of respiratory organ found in many aquatic animals, including a number of worms, nearly all mollusks and crustaceans, some insect larvae, all fishes, and a few amphibians. The gill consists of branched or feathery tissue richly supplied with blood vessels, especially near the gill surface, facilitating the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide with the surrounding water. The gills may be enclosed in cavities, through which the water is often forcibly pumped, or they may project from the body into the water.

Learn more about gill with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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