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noun (1)

gim·​let ˈgim-lət How to pronounce gimlet (audio)
: a small tool with a screw point, grooved shank, and cross handle for boring holes

Illustration of gimlet

Illustration of gimlet


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: having a piercing or penetrating quality


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gimleted; gimleting; gimlets

transitive verb

: to pierce as if with a gimlet


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noun (2)

: a drink consisting of sweetened lime juice and gin or vodka and sometimes carbonated or plain water

Examples of gimlet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
While a Bee's Knees contains gin, honey, and lime (or lemon), a gimlet calls for gin, lime, and sugar. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 17 Dec. 2023 Treat yourself to cocktails like a fresh basil gimlet or a John Daly. Michelle Gross, Travel + Leisure, 10 June 2023 There’s also martini service, setups for a classic gimlet or Old Fashioned, or pickleback fixings. Globe Staff,, 25 May 2023 The gimlet infused with Thai basil makes a breezy companion to the cooking, and Crazy Thai Lady — a blend of rum, tequila, pineapple juice and aromatics including lime leaves — reveals the family’s sense of humor. Washington Post, 18 May 2022 This is the place to ease in with a jade gimlet that lives up to the promise, marvel at how a few pristine ingredients — scallops, bone marrow and black truffles — can impress, and finish with a rich chocolate souffle. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 17 May 2023 The bar weighs in with a liquid curiosity: a vodka gimlet flavored like cacio e pepe. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 17 May 2023 The women of a certain age crime-solving trend continues to cast a gimlet eye over a world that really should know better, and readers are all the richer for it. Yvonne Zipp, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 May 2023 Two Chicks uses all-natural fruit in its drinks, which also include a sparkling vodka fizz and sparkling apple gimlet. Erica Sweeney, Men's Health, 1 May 2023 See More

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French guimbelet, from Middle French (Picard), modification of Middle Dutch wimmelkijn, from wimmel wimble

Noun (2)

probably from gimlet entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above


1752, in the meaning defined above


1840, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1928, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near gimlet

Cite this Entry

“Gimlet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a small tool with a screw point and cross handle for boring holes

More from Merriam-Webster on gimlet

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