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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."

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Insta360's Link uses its gimbal in coordination with AI algorithms to keep the user in place by automatically framing and zooming. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 3 Aug. 2022 Its internal battery can run for more than 20 hours, so your camera is more likely to die long before the gimbal does. Julian Chokkattu, WIRED, 29 Aug. 2022 Insta360's camera is similar to the $269 Obsbot Tiny 4K, but the latter has a two-axis gimbal. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 3 Aug. 2022 This lens features the 6-axis hybrid gimbal OIS/EIS stabilizer. Dave Leclair, PCMAG, 28 July 2022 Hopefully, the gimbal isn't too audible in use, though, as noises and vibrations are distractions all their own. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 3 Aug. 2022 The webcam is mounted on a 3-axis gimbal allowing AI tracking to follow your face and always keep it centered. Matthew Humphries, PCMAG, 2 Aug. 2022 Everything is now easier to see and at arm’s length, enables convenient control over the gimbal and the smartphone when capturing footage. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 8 June 2022 One will keep the drone stationary, but move the gimbal to track a subject, and the other will allow the drone to move, following a subject. Christian De Looper, BGR, 1 June 2022
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 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gimbal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 8 Dec. 2022.

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