gyp·​sy | \ ˈjip-sē How to pronounce gypsy (audio) \
gypsied; gypsying

Definition of gypsy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to live or roam like a Gypsy


Gyp·​sy | \ ˈjip-sē How to pronounce Gypsy (audio) \
plural Gypsies

Definition of Gypsy (Entry 2 of 2)

1 sometimes offensive : a member of a traditionally itinerant people who originated in northern India and now live chiefly in south and southwest Asia, Europe, and North America
3 not capitalized : one that resembles a Gypsy especially : wanderer

Did You Know?

In the early years of the 16th century there began to appear in Britain some members of a wandering race of people who were ultimately of Hindu origin and who called themselves and their language Romany. In Britain, however, it was popularly believed that they came from Egypt, so they were called Egipcyans or Egyptians. This was soon shortened to Gipcyan, and by 1600 the further altered form Gipsy, Gypsey, began to appear in print. By later in the 1600s the verb gypsy, meaning “to live like a Gypsy” began to be used.

First Known Use of gypsy


circa 1627, in the meaning defined above


1537, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gypsy


by shortening & alteration from Egyptian

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The first known use of gypsy was in 1537

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English Language Learners Definition of Gypsy

: a member of a group of people who originally came from northern India and now live mostly in Asia, Europe, and North America


Gyp·​sy | \ ˈjip-sē How to pronounce Gypsy (audio) \
plural Gypsies

Kids Definition of Gypsy

: a member of a group of people coming from India to Europe long ago and living a wandering way of life

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More from Merriam-Webster on gypsy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gypsy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gypsy

Spanish Central: Translation of gypsy

Nglish: Translation of gypsy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gypsy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gypsy

What made you want to look up gypsy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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