Gypsy

noun
Gyp·​sy | \ ˈjip-sē How to pronounce Gypsy (audio) \
plural Gypsies

Definition of Gypsy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 usually offensive, see usage paragraph below
a : a member of a traditionally itinerant people who originated in northern India and now live chiefly in Europe and in smaller numbers throughout the world : romani sense 1, rom entry 1
b : the Indo-Aryan language of the Roma people : romani sense 2
2 gypsy, often offensive, see usage paragraph below : a person who wanders or roams from place to place : wanderer

gypsy

verb
gyp·​sy | \ ˈjip-sē How to pronounce gypsy (audio) \
gypsied; gypsying; gypsies

Definition of gypsy (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

often offensive
: to travel or roam from place to place — see usage paragraph at gypsy

Usage of Gypsy

Noun

Though still frequently encountered in English, use of the term Gypsy to refer to Roma people or their language is increasingly regarded as offensive because of negative stereotypes associated with that term. Although Gypsy is sometimes used as a neutral or positive self-descriptor, it is recommended that those for whom it is not a self-descriptor use Roma or Romani/Romany instead. Other uses of gypsy are also increasingly understood as offensive, including the general "wanderer" meaning of the noun and the related meaning of the verb gypsy, as well as compound terms, such as gypsy moth and gypsy cab.

First Known Use of Gypsy

Noun

1574, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1820, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Gypsy

Noun

by shortening & alteration from Egyptian

Learn More About Gypsy

Dictionary Entries Near Gypsy

gypsum plaster

Gypsy

gypsy

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Statistics for Gypsy

Cite this Entry

“Gypsy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Gypsy. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for Gypsy

Gypsy

noun
Gyp·​sy | \ ˈjip-sē How to pronounce Gypsy (audio) \
plural Gypsies

Kids Definition of Gypsy

sometimes offensive
: a member of a group of people coming from India to Europe long ago and living a wandering way of life

More from Merriam-Webster on Gypsy

Nglish: Translation of Gypsy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of Gypsy for Arabic Speakers

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