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

Definition of Gypsy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 sometimes offensive : a member of a traditionally itinerant people who originated in northern India and now live chiefly in south and southwest Asia, Europe, and North America : romani sense 1, rom entry 1
2 : the Indo-Aryan language of the Romani people : romani sense 2
3 gypsy : one who resembles a Gypsy especially : a person who wanders or roams from place to place : wanderer Embarking on a 11-week tour visiting 60 different venues would be gruelling for some, but Lesley [Joseph] says she relishes being a "theatrical gypsy." Grimsby Telegraph


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

Definition of gypsy (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to travel or roam from place to place … honed her skills as a quick-sketch watercolorist as she gypsied around the state, using her brush and pad for reporting as well as art.— Doug MacCash

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Did You Know?

In the early years of the 16th century there began to appear in Britain some members of a wandering race of people who were ultimately of Hindu origin and who called themselves and their language Romany. In Britain, however, it was popularly believed that they came from Egypt, so they were called Egipcyans or Egyptians. This was soon shortened to Gipcyan, and by 1600 the further altered form Gipsy, Gypsey, began to appear in print. By later in the 1600s the verb gypsy, meaning “to live like a Gypsy” began to be used.

First Known Use of Gypsy


1537, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1627, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Gypsy


by shortening & alteration from Egyptian

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Cite this Entry

“Gypsy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for Gypsy



English Language Learners Definition of Gypsy

: a member of a group of people who originally came from northern India and now live mostly in Asia, Europe, and North America


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

Kids Definition of Gypsy

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on Gypsy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for Gypsy

Nglish: Translation of Gypsy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of Gypsy for Arabic Speakers

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