One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1mass noun A clear alcoholic spirit distilled from grain or malt and flavoured with juniper berries.
strong liquor, liquor, strong drinkView synonyms
- ‘At the beginning of the eighteenth century it was universally believed that rum, gin, and brandy were nutritious and healthful.’
- ‘It is quite easy to make one's own herbal tincture using vodka, gin or some other spirits.’
- ‘He'd fixed a strong punch in a globe-like crystal bowl, with all kinds of liquors mixed into it - rum, gin, whiskey, vodka, juices and what not.’
- ‘Basic service will include house wines, vodka, whiskey, gin and rum, premium service will offer single-malts, premium wines and brandy.’
- ‘A table at the bottom compared the calorie content of 100 ml of beer with the same amount of gin, rum, whisky, cognac and wine.’
- ‘Staff gave her a choice of gin, vodka or whisky, before she was given two cupfuls to drink immediately.’
- ‘These are found in larger amounts in dark liquors, such as brandy, tequila and whiskey, than in clear liquors such as vodka and gin.’
- ‘In those early days cocktails were mainly made with gin, whisky, rum and vodka.’
- ‘Use vodka, gin, or any pure alcohol to erase lipstick stains from your collar, or to clean paint or ink stains from your carpet.’
- ‘They could choose from vodka, gin, rum, bourbon, scotch or tequila.’
- ‘Favor clear spirits like vodka and gin over darker-colored alcohols like whiskey, brandy or red wine.’
- ‘It helps to have lots of vodka, gin, scotch, brandy, and cognac for all to swill down.’
- ‘Artisans are also going into vodka, gin and rum, as well as whiskeys.’
- ‘I can clearly see the market opening beyond cognac and scotch whisky, possibly to vodka and gin.’
- ‘The more adventurous hobbyist can go beyond beer and wine and turn their hands to liqueurs or to spirits like gin.’
- ‘The quantities of the common spirits, such as gin, rum, vodka and whisky are controlled too.’
- ‘Yet this can only have been a very small part of the million of gallons of brandy, gin and rum that were consumed through this period.’
- ‘Two bars offer brisk service, and the bartenders will occasionally let you order up to four tiny drinks at a time, with rum, gin, vodka and rye on the menu.’
- ‘Creoles enjoy alcoholic drinks such as beer, gin, and palm wine.’
- ‘France had higher tax rates for spirits which were based on grain, such as whisky, rum, gin, and vodka, than those which were based on wine or fruit, such as cognac, Calvados, and Armagnac.’
2A form of the card game rummy in which a player holding cards totalling ten or less may terminate play.
- ‘After this the men may separate for gin rummy or poker, leaving the women alone to their gossip.’
- ‘They all got settled, and first started playing poker, gin, and a few other card games.’
- ‘It generates revenues by hosting online backgammon, gin rummy and blackjack, as well as staging golf, darts and pool games.’
- ‘We sat around for a long time playing gin rummy in the hay, when we heard what sounded like a pig's squeal.’
- ‘As a sideline he was a classical violinist, a master bridge player and a demon at gin rummy, but golf was where he got his kicks.’
Early 18th century: abbreviation of genever.
1A machine for separating cotton from its seeds.
- ‘At the gin, fiber is separated from the seed and cleaned.’
- ‘In the future, many gins will have automated moisture-control technology so bales will emerge from the gin with a prescribed amount of moisture.’
- ‘This local textile company has had success with its trial crop of cotton and will now be installing a gin to process the raw material as well.’
- ‘South Africa says the cotton processed in this gin is some of the finest on the African continent.’
- ‘Roller gins vied with saw gins for the fuzzy-seed market into the 1820s and remained the preferred gin for long-staple cotton.’
2A machine for raising and moving heavy weights.
- ‘The horse gin was a horse-driven winding machine used to raise coal in tubs or baskets.’
3A trap for catching birds or small mammals.
trap, net, nooseView synonyms
- ‘A tiled bathroom in an old safari lodge contains a frightening arsenal of confiscated weaponry - machetes, knives, bows and arrows tipped with hammered barbed wire; buffalo-size snares; gin traps powered by car springs.’
- ‘This horrific picture shows a cat lying in enormous distress, her front leg severed by a vicious and illegal gin trap.’
- ‘For the next 33 years he lived in a room under the house and if anyone came near, he speared them with a pitchfork, whacked them over the head with a farming instrument or caught them in a man-sized gin trap.’
- ‘He added: ‘Anyone we discover setting gin traps, or fen traps illegally, should be warned they could face prosecution.’’
- ‘She was rescued by the RSPCA after becoming caught in an illegal gin trap.’
Treat (cotton) in a gin.
- ‘But until the recent innovations, the slow ginning rate for upland cotton made it economically infeasible to use anything but saw-gin stands.’
- ‘So where does it go to sell its harvested, ginned cotton?’
- ‘The country's largest ginneries were only utilising 24 and 54 per cent of their respective ginning capacity, and only 40 per cent of the seed cotton was ginned into cotton lint.’
- ‘Producers in south-central Kansas are ginning a crop once unheard of in their state.’
- ‘The cooperative ginned a record supply of cotton, topping 16,000 bales.’
gin someone up
Arouse or intensify strong feelings in someone.‘the goal of the convention is to gin up the faithful’
- ‘If they want to gin up their constituents into active resentment of their federal government - they should look elsewhere.’
- ‘Print and online publications are ginned up to shine an anecdote, an experience, into a gem that will be plucked and dittoed through the social media.’
- ‘It's easy for kids to be ginned up at an assembly, but it's hard to work hard for the years and years of years that they must.’
- ‘One would have thought we would have ginned up the intelligence analysts and case officers who were capable of operating in that area.’
- ‘We're headed to the party being given the ability to bring back symbolic issues so they don't have to talk about anything significant, so they can get the base ginned up for these November House and Senate elections.’
- ‘He knew when to pick a fight too-when to bait an umpire or tear up a rule book or hurl a third-base bag in order to fire up his team or gin up the fans.’
- ‘First of all, it gins up the conservative base of the Republican Party.’
- ‘The magazine was reporting the administration had a three point plan to come back after the debacle which included ginning up the base with tax cuts.’
- ‘He's more than happy to accept the negative reviews and respond to them in a fashion that gins up his followers and financial contributors.’
- ‘She is ginned up about the launch to the point of hyperbole, describing the app as "the most shoppable digital edition of any magazine."’
gin something up
Generate or increase something, especially by dubious or dishonest means.‘the trade press has ginned up a controversy’‘the reason for this kind of fearmongering is obvious—it's a way to gin up support for radical reforms’
- ‘As Congress gins up its attack on women's health services, another issue that affects the welfare of women has been getting far less attention.’
- ‘Corporate boards have essentially created what amounts to a perpetual motion pay machine that year in and year out gins up millions in executive compensation, no matter what may be happening economically in the real world.’
- ‘Resentment against supposedly overpaid union workers is too easy to gin up.’
- ‘He gins up voter turnout.’
- ‘First, he has to gin up a pretext.’
- ‘So four days after the media ginned up this story, it's over.’
- ‘When the government gins up martial madness, it's hard to put it back in the bottle.’
- ‘He will use Thursday's event to gin up support via the Internet.’
- ‘Then someone overreacted and ginned up a phony controversy on this side of the Atlantic and now the very fabric of our culture is threatened.’
- ‘No, it gins up bad, sick instincts in people who have these predispositions.’
- ‘A video going viral is ginning up some over-the-top enthusiasm for trains.’
Middle English (in the sense ‘a tool or device, a trick’): from Old French engin (see engine).
An Aboriginal woman.
From Dharuk diyin ‘woman, wife’.
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