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Ginger rhizomes.


Etymology 1[edit]

Middle English gingere, alteration of gingivere, from late Old English gingifer, gingiber (influenced by Old French gingibre), from Medieval Latin gingiber, zingeber, from Latin zingiberi, from Late Greek ζιγγίβερις (zingíberis), from Middle Indic (compare Pali [script needed] (siṅgivēra), Sanskrit शृङ्गवेर (śṛṅgavera)) (influenced by शृङ्गं (śṛṅgaṃ) ‘horn’), from Old Tamil [script needed] (iṅci) [script needed] (vēr), literally, ‘ginger root’ (mod. Tamil இஞ்சி (iñci, ginger) வேர் (vēr, root)).


ginger (countable and uncountable, plural gingers)

  1. The pungent aromatic rhizome of a tropical Asian herb, Zingiber officinale, used as a spice and as a stimulant and acarminative.
  2. The plant that produces this rhizome.
  3. Other species belonging to the same family, Zingiberaceae, especially those of the genus Zingiber
  4. A reddish-brown colour/color.
    ginger colour:    
  5. (colloquial, often derogatory, countable) A person with reddish-brown hair; a redhead.
  6. (colloquial, uncountable) vitality, vigour, liveliness (of character)
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


ginger (comparative more ginger, superlative most ginger)

  1. (of hair) Of a reddish-brown colour.
  2. Flavoured with ginger.
Derived terms[edit]


ginger (third-person singular simple present gingers, present participle gingering, simple past and past participle gingered)

  1. To add ginger to.
  2. To enliven, to spice (up).
    • 1982, Lawrence Durrell, Constance, Faber & Faber 2004 (Avignon Quintet), p. 886:
      The accident was an excuse merely to replace an old-fashioned regular with old-fashioned notions by an active, fire-eating young general who would ginger things up.
  3. To apply ginger to the anus of a horse to encourage it to carry its tail high and move in a lively fashion.
Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page as described here.


ginger (third-person singular simple present gingers, present participle gingering, simple past and past participle gingered)

  1. To move gingerly.
    • 1972 September 1, Paul Hemphill, “‘I Gotta Let the Kid Go’”, in Life, ISSN 0024-3019, Volume 73, Number 9, page 42:
      Spring training began on Christmas Day, when my cousin and I gingered onto the lot behind the fire station to try out our new spikes.
    • 1979, Bill Marshall, Bukom,[1] Longman, ISBN 9780582642232, page 83:
      She gingered her way into the river and timidly splashed into its waters.
    • 1992, Donald Anderson, “My Name Is Stephen Mann”, in Aethlon, reprinted in Fire Road, University of Iowa Press (2001), ISBN 978-0-87745-778-7, page 11:
      I gingered my hands into my grandfather’s [boxing] gloves.
    • 2009, Montana Kid Hammer, The Old West Adventures of Ornery and Slim: The Partnership, AuthorHouse, ISBN 978-1-4389-1998-0, page 47:
      Takin’ good care not to topple into the depths o’ this muddy ol’ ooze, I gingered my way across the muddy path along the river’s edge until I arrived at that big hat.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Cockney rhyming slang: ginger beer = queer


ginger (plural gingers)

  1. (UK, Cockney rhyming slang) a homosexual.


ginger (not comparable)

  1. (UK, Cockney rhyming slang) homosexual.