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verb (1)

girded ˈgər-dəd How to pronounce gird (audio) or girt ˈgərt How to pronounce gird (audio) ; girding

transitive verb

: to prepare (oneself) for action
: to encircle or bind with a flexible band (such as a belt)
: to make (something, such as clothing or a sword ) fast or secure (as with a cord or belt)
gird a sword by a belt
: provide, equip
especially : to invest with the sword of knighthood

intransitive verb

: to prepare for action
Both sides are girding for battle.


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verb (2)

girded; girding; girds

transitive verb

: to sneer at : mock

intransitive verb

: gibe, rail
An unbearable ill-humour settled on the ship: men, mates, and master, girding at one another all day long.Robert Louis Stevenson


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: a sarcastic remark
gird one's loins
: to prepare for action : muster up one's resources

Examples of gird in a Sentence

Noun in her farewell speech, the departing governor got in some retaliatory girds at the media
Recent Examples on the Web
Last year, consumers were bombarded with news about inflation, rising interest rates, tight labor markets, and geopolitical turbulence, leading many in the luxury industry to gird themselves for a down year. Victoria Gomelsky, Robb Report, 8 Mar. 2024 China has announced a raft of measures to resuscitate a plateauing economy, even as the country's new premier warns its legions of bureaucrats to gird themselves for a period of fiscal austerity ahead. Emily Feng, NPR, 5 Mar. 2024 But that also means what pierces more readily are the smaller moments, like the private sorrow and intellectual excitement girding Ellis-Taylor’s portrayal. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 8 Dec. 2023 Officials are also girding for the potential impact of strikes. Rick Noack, Washington Post, 19 Mar. 2024 Seemingly girded by intermission, pretty much everyone returned for the Beethoven. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2024 Or should Britons gird themselves for the passing of another sovereign? Mark Landler, New York Times, 6 Feb. 2024 Europe needs to start preparing now to withstand that pressure internally, girding itself to better defend the rule of law within its borders. Arancha González Laya, Foreign Affairs, 2 Feb. 2024 Much bigger players are girding themselves for losses linked to commercial real estate. Anna Cooban, CNN, 1 Feb. 2024

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

Word History


Verb (1)

Middle English girden "to encircle the waist of, put a belt about, prepare (oneself)," going back to Old English gyrdan "to encircle with a belt, equip," going back to Germanic *gurđjan- (whence also Old Saxon gurdian "to encircle with a belt," Old High German gurten, Old Norse gyrða), probably from a zero-grade derivative of the Indo-European root seen in *ghorto- or *ghordho- "enclosure" — more at yard entry 1

Verb (2)

Middle English, to strike, thrust

First Known Use

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

Verb (2)

1546, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1566, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gird was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near gird

Cite this Entry

“Gird.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


or girt
; girding
: to encircle or fasten with or as if with a belt or cord
: to provide especially with the sword of knighthood
: to get ready (as for a fight)

More from Merriam-Webster on gird

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