Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A member of a people that arrived in Europe in migrations from northern India around the 14th century, now also living in North America and Australia. Many Gypsy groups have preserved elements of their traditional culture, including an itinerant existence and the Romany language.
  • n. See Romany.
  • n. One inclined to a nomadic, unconventional way of life.
  • n. A person who moves from place to place as required for employment, especially:
  • n. A part-time or temporary member of a college faculty.
  • n. A member of the chorus line in a theater production.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A member of the Romani people, or one of it sub-groups (Roma, Sinti, Romanichal, etc).
  • n. A member of other nomadic peoples, not only of the Romani people; a traveller. Alternative spelling of gypsy.
  • proper n. The language Romani.
  • adj. Of or belonging to the Romani people or one of it sub-groups (Roma, Sinti, Romanichel, etc).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to, or suitable for, gypsies.
  • n. One of a vagabond race, whose tribes, coming originally from India, entered Europe in the 14th or 15th century, and are now scattered over Turkey, Russia, Hungary, Spain, England, etc., living by theft, fortune telling, horsejockeying, tinkering, etc. Cf. bohemian, Romany.
  • n. The language used by the gypsies.
  • n. A dark-complexioned person.
  • n. A cunning or crafty person.
  • intransitive v. To play the gypsy; to picnic in the woods.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. etc. See Gipsy, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a laborer who moves from place to place as demanded by employment
  • n. the Indic language of the Gypsies
  • n. a member of a people with dark skin and hair who speak Romany and who traditionally live by seasonal work and fortunetelling; they are believed to have originated in northern India but now are living on all continents (but mostly in Europe, North Africa, and North America)

Etymologies

Alteration of Middle English gypcian, short for Egipcien, Egyptian (so called because Gypsies were thought to have come from Egypt).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Earlier Middle English Gipcyan, Gypcyan (Gyptian), from Old French gyptien. Short for Egyptian, from Latin aegyptius, because when they first appeared in England in the sixteenth century they were wrongly believed to have come from Egypt. The Greek term γύφτος, Albanian Evgit and Spanish gitano have the same origin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The term Gypsy is short for Egyptian, although ethnically, Gypsies actually originally came from India.

    TIME.com: Top Stories

  • History: The term Gypsy music refers strictly to the gypsies 'own folk music, but in its broadest sense has become a general term for music performed and cultivated by gypsies.

    WeLove-music

  • In recent weeks, Gypsy or Roma rights groups accused the Romanian Academy of racism for its definition of the word "Gypsy" as "people with bad habits."

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • An insult, according to Romania's Gypsies who are pushing for the nation's leading dictionary to add "pejorative" to its definition of the word "Gypsy" as "people with bad habits."

    The Seattle Times

  • And a great example is a shack he calls the Gypsy Junker.

    Do-It-Yourself Downsize: How To Build A Tiny House

  • Somewhat light on the superheroics, as Gypsy is not sure of who he is or what he can do, and neither is anyone else in this odd future.

    Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror: Eye Of the Vulture - Ron Goulart

  • Gypsy is busy ridding the garden of mice - she's picked up a few tricks from our cat - but I promise to show her your post later today.

    A guest post

  • Gypsy is a miniature apricot poodle that is currently being fostered.

    Apricot Poodle for Adoption

  • Gypsy is 3-4 years old, spayed and as sweet as you will ever find.

    Apricot Poodle for Adoption

  • There are a lot of people nowadays showing interest in Gypsy vardos, as the traditional wagons are called.

    Archive 2007-07-01

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Comments

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  • I was watching a Discovery Channel Documentary about tribes and I heard this word.

    October 27, 2010