American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Zoology The respiratory organ of most aquatic animals that breathe water to obtain oxygen, consisting of a filamentous structure of vascular membranes across which dissolved gases are exchanged.
- n. The wattle of a bird. Often used in the plural.
- n. Informal The area around the chin and neck.
- n. Botany One of the thin, platelike structures on the underside of the cap of a mushroom or similar fungus.
- v. To catch (fish) in a gill net.
- v. To gut or clean (fish).
- v. To become entangled in a gill net. Used of fish.
- idiom. to the gills Informal As full as possible; completely.
- n. A unit of volume or capacity in the U.S. Customary System, used in liquid measure, equal to 1/4 of a pint or four ounces (118 milliliters).
- n. A unit of volume or capacity, used in dry and liquid measure, equal to 1/4 of a British Imperial pint (142 milliliters). See Table at measurement.
- n. Chiefly British A ravine.
- n. Chiefly British A narrow stream.
- n. A girl, often one's sweetheart.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The breathing-organ of any animal that lives in the water.
- n. Specifically, an organ in aquatic animals for the aërification of the blood through the medium of water; the respiratory apparatus of any animal that breathes the air which is mixed with water; by extension, a branchia, as of any invertebrate and of the ichthyopsidan vertebrates. See branchiæ. The gills or branchiæ of a fish are a series of vascular arches by which the venous blood is brought in close relation with the water, and thus arterialized. They are situated on each side of the neck, and consist generally of rows of compressed filaments arising from the outer sides of the gill-arches, between which are the gill-slits through which water is poured in respiration to bathe the gills, the set of gills being usually contained in cavities shut in by the gill-covers and communicating with the mouth. There are usually four rows of gills in true fishes, but there may be fewer; in selachians there are generally five pairs; the details of the arrangement are very various. In Amphibia the gills are similar to those of fishes in their situation and general character, but they usually present externally as tufted organs on each side of the neck, and in many cases are caducous, being replaced by lungs. In Mollusca the character of the gills is very different, and their disposition is so variable that they are made a means of establishing many of the orders and subordinate groups of that division of the animal kingdom. In an oyster, for example, the gills are the folds or plaits which lie in layers around a considerable part of the circumference of the animal. (See cuts under Dendronotus, Doris, Lamellibranchiata, and Polyplacophora.) In Crustacea the gills are commonly appendages of some of the legs, very variable in number and situation, as podobranchiæ, pleurobranchiæ, etc. (See
epipodite, and cut under Podophthalmia.) Among Insecta gills are filamentous or foliaceous external appendages of the trachea of aquatic insects which breathe in the water. In Arachnida the gills are the external parts of the breathing-organ, each gill consisting of a minute slit covered with a scale; there are two or four of these on the lower side of the abdomen, near the base. In Vermes gills are the respiratory organs, of whatever character, commonly fringing the sides of the body or forming tufts on the head.
- n. Some part like or likened to a gill. The wattles or dewlap of a fowl.
- n. One of a number of radiating plates on the under side of the cap or pileus of a mushroom.
- n. In entomology, the branchiæ or external breathing-organs of certain insectlarvæ.
- To catch (fish) by the gills, as by means of a gill-net: as, gilled fish.
- [In allusion to the parallel rows of filaments in a fish's gills.] In making worsted yarn, to make the fibers level and parallel with each other by drawing them through a gilling-machine.
- To display the gills in swimming with the head partly out of water: as, mackerel go along gilling.
- n. A narrow valley; a ravine, especially one with a rapid stream running through it. The word is in common use in the lake district of England: as, Dungeon Gill, Gillin-Grove. In northwestern Yorkshire the valleys are called
- n. A corrugation or fold; a hollow, as in a sheet of metal.
- n. A frame with a pair of wheels used for conveying timber.
- n. Same as gill-frame.
- n. A liquid measure, one fourth of a pint in the British and United States systems. The United States gill contains 7.217 cubic inches, equal to 118.35 cubic centimeters. The British imperial gill contains just 5 ounces avoirdupois of distilled water at 62° F., weighed in air under a pressure equal to that of 30 inches of mercury at London, being equal to 142 cubic centimeters or 1.2 United States gills. Until about 1825 the gill was not considered as part of the regular system of English measures of capacity, and there was some want of uniformity in the use of the name. (See the extract from Carew.) In the north of England and parts of Scotland a half-pint was called a gill. The Scotch gill was 1/16 of a Scotch pint, and was therefore about equal to the English gill.
- n. A pint of ale.
- n. A girl; a sweetheart: used in familiarity or contempt, as either a proper or a common noun.
- n. [Short for gill-creep-by-the-ground, or gillrun-over-the-ground, homely names for the plant, in which gill is a familiar application of the feminine name.] The ground-ivy, Nepeta Glechoma.
- n. Same as gill-beer.
- n. An English penny or quarter bit.
- n. A fellow or ‘cove’: as, a queer gill.
- n. UK rivulet
- n. UK ravine
- n. A drink measure for spirits and wine. Size varies regionally but it is about one quarter of a pint.
- n. archaic, UK A measuring jug holding a quarter or half a pint.
- n. animal anatomy A breathing organ of fish and other aquatic animals.
- n. of a fish A gill slit or gill cover.
- n. mycology One of the radial folds on the underside of the cap of a mushroom, on the surface of which the spore-producing organs are borne.
- n. animal anatomy The fleshy flap that hangs below the beak of a fowl; a wattle.
- n. figuratively The flesh under or about the chin; a wattle.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Anat.) An organ for aquatic respiration; a branchia.
- n. (Bot.) The radiating, gill-shaped plates forming the under surface of a mushroom.
- n. (Zoöl.) The fleshy flap that hangs below the beak of a fowl; a wattle.
- n. The flesh under or about the chin.
- n. (Spinning) One of the combs of closely ranged steel pins which divide the ribbons of flax fiber or wool into fewer parallel filaments.
- n. Prov. Eng. A two-wheeled frame for transporting timber.
- n. Scot. A leech.
- n. Prov. Eng. & Scot. A woody glen; a narrow valley containing a stream.
- n. A measure of capacity, containing one fourth of a pint.
- n. A young woman; a sweetheart; a flirting or wanton girl.
- n. (Bot.) The ground ivy (Nepeta Glechoma); -- called also
gill over the ground, and other like names.
- n. Malt liquor medicated with ground ivy.
- n. respiratory organ of aquatic animals that breathe oxygen dissolved in water
- n. a British imperial capacity unit (liquid or dry) equal to 5 fluid ounces or 142.066 cubic centimeters
- n. a United States liquid unit equal to 4 fluid ounces
- n. any of the radiating leaflike spore-producing structures on the underside of the cap of a mushroom or similar fungus
- From Middle English gile ("gill"), from Old Norse giolnar ("lips") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English gile, of Scandinavian origin.Middle English gille, from Old French, wine measure, from Late Latin gillō, vessel for cooling liquids.Middle English gille, from Old Norse gil.Middle English gille, from Gille, a woman's name. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Ignore for the moment, the implication behind the misleading use of the phrase gill slits (and the 18th century frauds of militant evolutionist Ernst Haeckel) and consider the pair of words dramatically offset in the caption: embryonic humans a dramatic yet subtle change from the more common media phrase: human embryos.”
“At a very early stage we notice in the embryo of man and the other amniotes, at each side of the head, the remarkable and important structures which we call the gill-arches and gill-clefts (Figures”
“Comb-like structures called gill rakers filter tasty critters like krill out of the water for the sharks to dine on.”
“Another character that unites the chordates is the pharyngeal arches and pouches sometimes inaccurately called gill arches and gill slits.”
“The primary requirement for a body appendage or evagination to be identified as a gill or ctenidium is the high vascularization of the respiratory surface.”
“The gill filaments are attached to bones called the gill arches.”
“The gill arches have bony projections called gill rakers, which strain food and particles from the water.”
“And, sure enough, he has attracted a victim, a blue gill, which is making straight for what he thinks will mean more life to him but which probably means sure death unless he succeeds in getting away again.”
“Why -- a gill is a gill, of course," answered the Scarecrow, who did not wish to display his ignorance.”
“_Amphioxus_ are the gill-openings, and that the blood-vessels as they proceed from the heart are always distributed in the form of what are called gill-arches, adapted to convey the blood round or through the gills for the purpose of aeration.”
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