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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 siṅgivera, 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.
  4. (Nigeria) To inspire, give (someone) a bit of a boost.
    • 2015, 19-year-old student at a music school in Nigeria (BBC Newshour)
      I attended their concert first, so that was what gingered me to continue this school.
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 per etymology instructions.


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. (Britain, Cockney rhyming slang) a homosexual.


ginger ‎(not comparable)

  1. (Britain, Cockney rhyming slang) homosexual.