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[jip-see] /ˈdʒɪp si/
noun, plural Gypsies.
a member of a nomadic, Caucasoid people of generally swarthy complexion, who migrated originally from India, settling in various parts of Asia, Europe, and, most recently, North America.
Romany; the language of the Gypsies.
(lowercase) a person held to resemble a gypsy, especially in physical characteristics or in a traditionally ascribed freedom or inclination to move from place to place.
(lowercase) Informal. gypsy cab.
(lowercase) Informal. an independent, usually nonunion trucker, hauler, operator, etc.
(lowercase) Slang. a chorus dancer, especially in the Broadway theater.
(lowercase) gyp1 (def 4).
of or relating to the Gypsies.
(lowercase) Informal. working independently or without a license:
gypsy truckers.
Also, especially British, Gipsy, gipsy.
Origin of Gypsy
1505-15; back formation of gipcyan, aphetic variant of Egyptian, from a belief that Gypsies came originally from Egypt
Related forms
gypsydom, noun
gypsyesque, gypsyish, gypsylike, gypseian, adjective
gypsyhood, noun
gypsyism, noun
non-Gypsy, noun, plural non-Gypsies. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Gypsy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "What eyes he's got ain't for you," answered the Gypsy cruelly.

    The Black Pearl Mrs. Wilson Woodrow
  • But the Gypsy girl and I were not to be disheartened by historical comparisons.

    Days Off Henry Van Dyke
  • I looked from Gavin to the Gypsy woman, and again from her to him, and she began to tell a lie in his interest.

    The Little Minister J. M. Barrie
  • He may follow its growth as late as the Blast of yesterday and The Gypsy of to-day.

    Nights Elizabeth Robins Pennell
  • To tell the fortunes of Gypsy girls was, he thought, the refinement of presumption.

    The Gypsies Charles G. Leland
British Dictionary definitions for Gypsy


noun (sometimes not capital) (pl) -sies
  1. 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
  2. (as modifier): a Gypsy fortune-teller
the language of the Gypsies; Romany
a person who looks or behaves like a Gypsy
Derived Forms
Gypsydom, Gipsydom, noun
Gypsyhood, Gipsyhood, noun
Gypsyish, Gipsyish, adjective
Gypsy-like, Gipsy-like, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Egyptian, since they were thought to have come originally from Egypt
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 Gypsy

also gipsy, c.1600, alteration of gypcian, a worn-down Middle English dialectal form of egypcien "Egyptian," from the supposed origin of these people. As an adjective, from 1620s.

Cognate with Spanish Gitano and close in sense to Turkish and Arabic Kipti "gypsy," literally "Coptic;" but in Middle French they were Bohémien (see bohemian), and in Spanish also Flamenco "from Flanders." "The gipsies seem doomed to be associated with countries with which they have nothing to do" [Weekley]. Zingari, the Italian and German name, is of unknown origin. Romany is from the people's own language, a plural adjective form of rom "man." Gipsy is the prefered spelling in England.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for Gypsy



  1. gypsy cab (1940s+)
  2. A truck driven by its owner rather than a union driver (1942+ Truckers)


To make a risky bet or call: You will find players consistently gypsying, flat-calling with kings up or less (1940s+ Gambling); (1950s+)

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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Gypsy in Technology

Specification and verification of concurrent systems software. Message passing using named mailboxes. Separately compilable units: routine (procedure, function, or process), type and constant definition, each with a list of access rights.
["Report on the Language Gypsy", A.L. Ambler et al, UT Austin ICSCS-CMP-1976-08-1].

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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