One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A hot, fragrant spice made from the rhizome of a plant, which may be chopped or powdered for cooking, preserved in syrup, or candied.
flavour, taste, savourView synonyms
- ‘Indian food is prepared with a variety of spices, including cumin, turmeric, chili powder, ginger, and garlic.’
- ‘I spice it up with ginger, garlic, chillies, lemon grass and lime juice, not forgetting fresh coriander leaves.’
- ‘Add the chopped garlic, ginger, chopped green chilli and lime leaves.’
- ‘Nutmeg, pepper, caraway seeds, ground ginger and the curry spices of cumin and coriander are also worth considering.’
- ‘In a food processor or blender, combine tomatoes, pepper, salt, coriander powder, ginger and jalapeno peppers.’
- 1.1short for ginger ale
- ‘She is partial to a small sherry at lunchtime and a brandy and dry ginger or a gin-and-tonic in the evening.’
- ‘We ended up playing scrabble in the park, drinking vodka and ginger.’
- ‘Orange, apple, ginger, melon - all good with vodka.’
- ‘The only way to appease is to replace vodka and ginger with vodka and beer.’
2A SE Asian plant, which resembles bamboo in appearance, from which ginger is taken.
Zingiber officinale, family Zingiberaceae
- ‘The couple has since added bromeliads, gardenia, ginger, hibiscus, other tropical plants, and a fountain to the atrium.’
- ‘We lived from subsistence farming, growing sweet potatoes, corn, some sugarcane, and ginger.’
- ‘Now, in place of rice fields stood yellowing ginger ready to be harvested.’
- ‘The remaining land is currently being tilled to sow more cereals, ginger, sugarcane or potatoes as soon as I get the right seeds.’
- ‘Both lemon grass and ginger can be grown in the edible garden, directly in the ground or in pots.’
3A light reddish-yellow or orange-brown colour.
- ‘He hasn't aged that well, but that may be down to the fact that he dyes his hair ginger instead of black now.’
- ‘Hair colour can range from fair strawberry blonde through strong ginger to a flaming rusty red.’
- ‘She kept her shoulder-length hair coloured its original shade of ginger - at her age, its natural shade would be thickly laced with white - and her figure was as slender as ever.’
- ‘I wouldn't put it past him to dye his hair ginger.’
- 3.1British informal, derogatory count noun A red-haired or ginger-haired person.
4A quality of energy or spiritedness.‘the ginger had gone out of the men’
1(chiefly of hair or fur) of a light reddish-yellow or orange-brown colour.
reddish-brown, tawny, chestnut, russet, coppery, copper, auburn, titian, reddish, gingery, rusty, rufousView synonyms
- ‘He chased his tail and ate May's ferns, and sharpened his tiny claws on the kitchen chair legs, and left a light layer of ginger fur everywhere he went.’
- ‘He had a shaved head and a full ginger beard, with freckles on his face and forearms.’
- ‘He's described as 5'11 in height and of medium build with tightly cropped hair and a ginger moustache.’
- ‘She had long flowing ginger hair, and deep almond coloured eyes.’
- ‘She had a shock of bright ginger hair reaching well down her back and what looked like an old school satchel over her shoulder.’
- ‘But you can bet I'll still get teased for having ginger hair.’
- ‘Back then, I had long hair and a ginger beard.’
- ‘She let her thick, wavy, ginger hair down and it fell nicely on her shoulders.’
- ‘He would be practically unrecognisable without his signature ginger hair.’
- ‘Lucas already has a number of initiatives to help raise money, including a sponsored change of hair colour for which he will dye his ginger hair blond for six weeks.’
- 1.1 (of a cat) having ginger fur.‘a ginger tom’
- ‘Two beautiful ginger tom cats came to live with me and my son John a year ago last September.’
- ‘Her ginger cat came sauntering into the room as if he owned it.’
- ‘She lives with a 13-year-old ginger tom called Archie.’
- ‘Currently the Cat Adoption Centre has a ginger mother and four six week-old ginger kittens (two male and two female) ready for adoption.’
- ‘Milo, a five-year-old ginger cat, was found in a garden close to his home on Hawthorne Street.’
- ‘Christy is happily married to her husband Bill, and shares her home with two ornery dachshunds, Tasha and PJ, and a ginger tabby named Henry.’
- ‘Mother stopped and looked back at the ginger kitten.’
- ‘Tom is ginger and white in colour and quite large.’
- ‘Tim and I have been married for 43 years and our first cat was a beautiful ginger cat whom we called Lion.’
- ‘This ginger kitten named Garfield seemed to believe it was invisible as it covered one eye with a paw and sat in a flower pot to hide from a large dog.’
- 1.2derogatory, informal (of a person) having red or ginger hair.
1usually as adjective gingeredFlavour with ginger.‘gingered sweet-potato salad’
- ‘For today's dinner I made my ‘signature’ pumpkin salad and gingered pork with cheese, an old childhood favorite of mine.’
- ‘For the main course we had grilled sirloin and gingered chickpea fries, washed down with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.’
- ‘Yet minced and sautéed and gingered, then rolled into flaky phyllo pastry with threadlike rice noodles, these variety meats make a surprisingly gentle and appealing appetizer called a Moroccan Delicacy Pie.’
- ‘Keep it in the fridge and use as necessary, finally ending up with the gingered sherry, which you can use in a trifle or stir-fry.’
- ‘Sweet sticky rice topped with fresh mango and kiwi accompanied by gingered chocolate sauce is one of the many sweet sushi delights.’
2ginger someone/something upMake someone or something more lively.‘she slapped his hand lightly to ginger him up’
encourage, act as a fillip to, act as a impetus to, act as a incentive to, act as a spur to, act as a stimulus to, prompt, prod, move, motivate, trigger, spark, spur on, galvanize, activate, kindle, fire, fire with enthusiasm, fuel, whet, nourishView synonyms
- ‘Specific targets for pupil achievement were part of the package, and in the early days maybe they did help focus schools' attention and ginger us all up a bit.’
- ‘If I can get them gingered up a bit and inspire them to do something different, then I think I am doing my job.’
- ‘Laughing, she adds, is much healthier than running: it gingers up the metabolism in the same way, but without the negative side effects.’
- ‘Future plans include moving the shop from its underground location to the street frontage to increase exhibition space and to ginger up revenues.’
- ‘It might ginger up some of the parties to make promises they can keep, and even get some of the ‘don't voters’ to mark their cards.’
Late Old English gingifer, conflated in Middle English with Old French gingimbre, from medieval Latin gingiber, from Greek zingiberis, from Pali siṅgivera, of Dravidian origin.
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