Definitions

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

  • n. The central idea; the essence. See Synonyms at substance.
  • n. Law The grounds for action in a suit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The most essential part; the main idea or substance (of a longer or more complicated matter).
  • n. The essential ground for action in a suit, without which there is no cause of action.
  • n. Resting place (especially of animals), lodging.
  • v. To summarize, to extract and present the most important parts of.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A resting place.
  • n. The main point, as of a question; the point on which an action rests; the pith of a matter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An aphetic form of agist (which see).
  • n. A resting-place; a couch.
  • n. A lodging-place; a place of rest or halt in traveling.
  • n. A beam: same as joist.
  • n. The point on which an action rests; the substance or pith of a matter; the main point: as, the gist of an argument.

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

  • n. the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
  • n. the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work

Etymologies

From Anglo-Norman (cest action) gist, (this action) lies, third person sing. of gesir, to lie, from Latin iacēre; see yē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French gist, from the verb gesir ("to lie down"), from Latin iaceō. Compare Modern French gésir or gîte ("lodging"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.