gill

1 of 5

noun (1)

: a unit of liquid capacity equal to four fluid ounces see Weights and Measures Table

gill

2 of 5

noun (2)

1
: an organ (as of a fish) for obtaining oxygen from water
2
b
: the flesh under or about the chin or jaws
usually used in plural
c
: one of the radiating plates forming the undersurface of the cap of a mushroom fungus
gilled adjective

gill

3 of 5

verb

gilled; gilling; gills

intransitive verb

of fish : to become entangled in a gill net
giller noun

gill

4 of 5

noun (3)

1
British : ravine
2
British : a narrow stream or rivulet

gill

5 of 5

noun (4)

often capitalized
Phrases
to the gills
: as full or as much as possible
a suitcase packed to the gills

Examples of gill in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The garage is packed to the gills, and this project needs to start there. Amy Dickinson, The Mercury News, 17 Feb. 2024 The garage is packed to the gills and this project needs to start there. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 17 Feb. 2024 Like other fish, whale sharks breathe through gills, while marine mammals such as true whales breathe using their lungs. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 8 Jan. 2024 Instead, freezers across the United States are filled to the gills. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Jan. 2024 Looking back years from now, 2023 may be mentioned in the same breath as 1998 and 2007 as years that were packed to the gills with classics. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 27 Dec. 2023 Some had big bumps on their back; others had pus behind their gills. Alec Luhn, Scientific American, 19 Dec. 2023 For white mushrooms, also called button mushrooms, the gills on the underside should be tightly closed. Sheena Chihak, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Dec. 2023 Upon examination, the deceased birds were stuffed to the gills with nandina berries. Steve Bender, Southern Living, 9 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gill.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English gille, from Medieval Latin gillus, from Late Latin gillo, gello water pot

Noun (2)

Middle English gile, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Swedish gäl gill, Old Norse gjǫlnar lips; akin to Greek chelynē lip, jawbone

Noun (3)

Middle English gille, from Old Norse gil; akin to Old High German gil hernia

Noun (4)

Middle English, from Gill, nickname for Gillian

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1884, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun (3)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (4)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gill was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near gill

Cite this Entry

“Gill.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gill. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

gill

1 of 2 noun
: a unit of liquid capacity equal to four fluid ounces see measure

gill

2 of 2 noun
1
: an organ (as of a fish) of thin plates or threadlike processes for obtaining oxygen from water
2
: the flesh under or about the chin or jaws
usually used in plural
3
: one of the plates arranged in a circle and forming the undersurface of the cap of a mushroom

Medical Definition

gill

1 of 2 noun
: either of two units of capacity:
a
: a British unit equal to ¹/₄ imperial pint or 8.669 cubic inches
b
: a United States liquid unit equal to ¹/₄ United States liquid pint or 7.218 cubic inches

gill

2 of 2 noun
1
: an organ (as of a fish) for obtaining oxygen from water
2
: one of the radiating plates forming the undersurface of the cap of a mushroom
gilled adjective

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