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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. [1]

a gimlet (tool)



gimlet (plural gimlets)

  1. A small screw-tipped tool for boring holes.
    • 1726 October 28, [Jonathan Swift], chapter II, in Gulliver’s Travels, volume I, London: Printed for Benj[amin] Motte, OCLC 995220039, part II:
      The box was close on every side, with a little door for me to go in and out, and a few gimlet holes to let in air.
    • 1917, William Butler Yeats, The Wild Swans at Coole (1919), "The Collar-bone of a Hare":
      I would find by the edge of that water
      The collar-bone of a hare
      Worn thin by the lapping of water,
      And pierce it through with a gimlet and stare
  2. A cocktail, usually made with gin and lime juice.
    • 2001, General Hospital (TV soap opera, August 28)
      Yeah, a piece of advice — once you’re back in circulation, don’t keep topping off a lady’s vodka gimlet when she’s not looking.

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gimlet (third-person singular simple present gimlets, present participle gimleting, simple past and past participle gimleted)

  1. To pierce or bore holes (as if using a gimlet).


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  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd. Edition, (1989)