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(1510) Maybe from Old French gensor, comparative of gent (nice, kind, pretty), from Latin gentius (well-born)



gingerly (comparative more gingerly, superlative most gingerly)

  1. In a delicate and cautious manner.
    He placed the glass jar gingerly on the concrete step.
    • 2012 June 3, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Mr. Plow” (season 4, episode 9; originally aired 11/19/1992)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1]:
      Purchasing a snowplow transforms Homer into a new man. Mr. Burns' laziest employee suddenly becomes an ambitious self-starter who buys ad time on local television at 3:17 A.M (prime viewing hours, Homer gingerly volunteers, for everyone from alcoholics to the unemployable to garden-variety angry loners) and makes a homemade commercial costarring his family.



gingerly (comparative more gingerly, superlative most gingerly)

  1. very careful or cautious.
    • 1867, Rebecca Harding Davis, Waiting For The Verdict, chapter 19 “The Valley of the Shadow”, published 1868 in The Galaxy magazine, volume 4, page 223:
      But, ther’s somethin’ in the very look and voice of Jeems Strebling, even in his gingerly walk, that riles all the black drop in me.
    • 1886, Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge, chapter 45:
      …penetrating cautiously into dark cellars, sallying forth with gingerly tread to the garden, now leaf-strewn by autumn winds…
    • 2012, David Mack, Star Trek: The Next Generation — Cold Equations Book One: Persistence of Memory, chapter 28:
      Several gingerly taps on her console fired clusters of modified probes into the maelstrom of the gas giant’s atmosphere.


  • gingerly” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018.