1. an alcoholic liquor obtained by distilling grain mash with juniper berries.
  2. an alcoholic liquor similar to this, made by redistilling spirits with flavoring agents, especially juniper berries, orange peel, angelica root, etc.


  1. cotton gin.
  2. a trap or snare for game.
  3. any of various machines employing simple tackle or windlass mechanisms for hoisting.
  4. a stationary prime mover having a drive shaft rotated by horizontal beams pulled by horses walking in a circle.

verb (used with object), ginned, gin·ning.

  1. to clear (cotton) of seeds with a gin.
  2. to snare (game).

verb (used with or without object), gan, gun, gin·ning. Archaic.

  1. to begin.


  1. Also called gin rummy. a variety of rummy for two players, in which a player with 10 or fewer points in unmatched cards can end the game by laying down the hand.
  2. the winning of such a game by laying down a full set of matched cards, earning the winner a bonus of 20 or 25 points.

verb (used without object), ginned, gin·ning.

  1. to win a game in gin by laying down a hand in which all 10 cards are included in sets.

conjunction Chiefly Scot. and Southern Appalachian.

  1. if; whether.

noun Australian Informal.

  1. a female Aborigine.
  2. an Aboriginal wife.


  1. an alcoholic drink obtained by distillation and rectification of the grain of malted barley, rye, or maize, flavoured with juniper berries
  2. any of various grain spirits flavoured with other fruit or aromatic essencessloe gin
  3. an alcoholic drink made from any rectified spirit


  1. a primitive engine in which a vertical shaft is turned by horses driving a horizontal beam or yoke in a circle
  2. Also called: cotton gin a machine of this type used for separating seeds from raw cotton
  3. a trap for catching small mammals, consisting of a noose of thin strong wire
  4. a hand-operated hoist that consists of a drum winder turned by a crank

verb gins, ginning or ginned (tr)

  1. to free (cotton) of seeds with a gin
  2. to trap or snare (game) with a gin

verb gins, ginning, gan or gun

  1. an archaic word for begin


  1. Scot if


  1. Australian offensive, slang an Aboriginal woman

“type of distilled drinking alcohol,” 1714, shortening of geneva, altered (by influence of the similarity of the name of the Swiss city, with which it has no other connection) from Dutch genever “juniper” (because the alcohol was flavored with its berries), from Old French genevre, from Vulgar Latin *jeniperus, from Latin juniperus “juniper” (see juniper). Gin and tonic attested by 1873; gin-sling by 1790. Card game gin rummy first attested 1941 (described in “Life” that year as the latest Hollywood fad).


“machine for separating cotton from seeds,” 1796, American English, used earlier of various other machineries, from Middle English gin “ingenious device, contrivance” (c.1200), from Old French gin “machine, device, scheme,” shortened form of engin, from Latin ingenium (see engine). The verb in this sense is recorded from 1789.


in slang phrase gin up “enliven, make more exciting,” 1887, probably from earlier ginger up in same sense (1849), from ginger in sense of “spice, pizzazz;” specifically in reference to the treatment described in the 1811 slang dictionary under the entry for feague:

… to put ginger up a horse’s fundament, and formerly, as it is said, a live eel, to make him lively and carry his tail well; it is said, a forfeit is incurred by any horse-dealer’s servant, who shall shew a horse without first feaguing him. Feague is used, figuratively, for encouraging or spiriting one up.


“to begin,” c.1200, ginnen, shortened form of beginnen (see begin).

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