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

  • n. A small hand tool having a spiraled shank, a screw tip, and a cross handle and used for boring holes.
  • n. A cocktail made with vodka or gin, sweetened lime juice, and sometimes effervescent water and garnished with a slice of lime.
  • transitive v. To penetrate with or as if with a gimlet.
  • adj. Having a penetrating or piercing quality: gimlet eyes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small tool for boring holes. It has a leading screw, a grooved body, and a cross handle.
  • transitive v. To pierce or make with a gimlet.
  • transitive v. To turn round (an anchor) by the stock, with a motion like turning a gimlet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

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


Middle English, from Anglo-Norman guimbelet, perhaps from Middle Dutch wimmelkijn, diminutive of wimmel, auger.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)



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