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gim·​bal ˈgim-bəl How to pronounce gimbal (audio) ˈjim- How to pronounce gimbal (audio)
: a device that permits a body to incline freely in any direction or suspends it so that it will remain level when its support is tipped
usually used in plural

called also gimbal ring


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gimballed or gimbaled; gimballing or gimbaling

transitive verb

: to provide with or support on gimbals

Did you know?

One place you might encounter gimbals is on a ship, where they are used to keep compasses and other things level with the horizon in contrast to the pitch and roll of the vessel at sea. The word gimbal is an alteration of "gemel," a word for a type of finger-ring popular in the 16th century that could be divided into two separate rings. The word comes from Anglo-French gemel ("twin"), which in turn comes from Latin gemellus, a diminutive of "geminus," the Latin word for "twin."

Examples of gimbal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
While air battles were executed digitally, the production used four real B-17s, and full-scale mock-ups of cockpits and bomber bays that were suspended 50 feet in the air on a gimbal and surrounded by high-definition screens. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 25 Jan. 2024 The camera sits on a one-axis gimbal that allows for a steady view in flight. Jim Fisher, PCMAG, 11 Apr. 2024 It’s been 10 years since DJI introduced its Ronin series of cameras and stabilization accessories, and the company is marking the occasion with two new camera gimbals, targeting both independent video creators and professional studios. Jess Weatherbed, The Verge, 9 Apr. 2024 The team revealed it was created with substantial use of a gimbal. Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Jan. 2024 The Link features a 0.5-inch Sony sensor mounted on a gimbal that can follow you around the room. Brandon Widder, The Verge, 24 Jan. 2024 Multiple new ports have been added behind a removable panel along the side of the camera, allowing for enhanced connection possibilities with gimbals or tethering, and wireless charging is now possible with Leica’s Charging Pad—all good news for the advanced user. Robb Rice, Robb Report, 24 Oct. 2023 Initially, the gimbal was adjusted manually by the pilot so that the beacons were oriented toward the mount. IEEE Spectrum, 1 Dec. 2022 Since the April test flight, SpaceX has replaced a hydraulic thrust-vector control mechanism with engine gimbals driven by electric actuators. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 18 Nov. 2023
Much of what has made DJI gimbals great remains in the Osmo Mobile 3, but the company made this device more compact and more affordable at $119. Valentina Palladino and Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, 20 Nov. 2019

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

Word History



alteration of obsolete gemel double ring, from Middle English, from Anglo-French gemel, jomel, from Latin gemellus, diminutive of geminus

First Known Use


circa 1780, in the meaning defined above


1875, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gimbal was circa 1780


Dictionary Entries Near gimbal

Cite this Entry

“Gimbal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

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