from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small hand tool having a spiraled shank, a screw tip, and a cross handle and used for boring holes.
  • noun A cocktail made with vodka or gin, sweetened lime juice, and sometimes effervescent water and garnished with a slice of lime.
  • transitive verb To make a hole in (something) with a gimlet.
  • adjective Having a penetrating or piercing quality.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small instrument with a pointed screw at the end, for boring holes in wood by turning it with one hand.
  • To use or apply a gimlet upon; form a hole in by using a gimlet; turn round, as one does a gimlet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A small tool for boring holes. It has a leading screw, a grooved body, and a cross handle.
  • noun [Colloq.] a squint-eye.
  • transitive verb To pierce or make with a gimlet.
  • transitive verb (Naut.) To turn round (an anchor) by the stock, with a motion like turning a gimlet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small screw-tipped tool for boring holes.
  • noun A cocktail, usually made with gin and lime juice.
  • verb To pierce or bore holes (as if using a gimlet).

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

  • noun a cocktail made of gin or vodka and lime juice
  • noun hand tool for boring holes


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

[Middle English, from Anglo-Norman guimbelet, perhaps from Middle Dutch wimmelkijn, diminutive of wimmel, auger.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The name "gimlet" comes from the Old French guinbelet, guimbelet, later guibelet, probably a diminutive of the Anglo-French "wimble", a variation of "guimble", from the Middle Low German wiemel, compare the Scandinavian wammie, to bore or twist; the modern French is gibelet.


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  • Sator: I'm more a martini guy myself, but that gimlet is in the top five.

    My Prerogative Matthew Guerrieri 2008

  • A gimlet is a strong drink with a distinctive sweet sharp tang to it that is refreshing and elegant.

    Karl Kozel: The War Of The Rose's 2010

  • Brendan probably means gauntlet, since a gimlet is a small boring tool for penetrating wood.

    The Sopranos #02: 46 Long - unseen sequences DAVID BISHOP 2007

  • 'Shall I persuade him, Dumbledore?' called a gimlet-eyed witch, raising an unusually thick wand that looked not unlike a birch rod.

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Rowling, J. K. 2003

  • He stood for some time staring after them with what Billy Louise called his gimlet look.

    The Ranch at the Wolverine 1914

  • He stood for some time staring after them with what Billy Louise called his gimlet look.

    The Ranch at the Wolverine B. M. Bower 1905

  • (Oxford English Dictionary) [21.9] According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a gimlet is a type of tool used to bore holes.

    Inventory of Robert Carter's Estate, November [1733] 1733

  • Gigantic Gigantic recalls the gimlet-eyed, halcyon days of '90s indie filmmaking, when "quirky" was just another word for every reason to commit your painfully awkward coming-of-age tale to celluloid.

    San Francisco Bay Guardian: Top Stories 2009

  • Bluntly put, the drink described in the video is not a Margarita but a tequila gimlet which is truly a marvelous drink as well as safe haven for tequila aficionados not wanting to see their favorite high quality - and high priced- spirit blasphemed by “sour mix” or similar juicy insults in the name of “Margarita” mixing.

    Is There Only One Way to Make a Cocktail? - Bitten Blog - 2008

  • She would fix her viper-coloured eyes on his, and say with a kind of gimlet firmness, 'I hardly think that is the true interpretation, Brother G.', or, 'But let us turn to Colossians, and see what the Holy Ghost says there upon this matter.'

    Father and Son: a study of two temperaments Edmund Gosse 1888


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