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.’
- ‘Nutmeg, pepper, caraway seeds, ground ginger and the curry spices of cumin and coriander are also worth considering.’
- ‘Add the chopped garlic, ginger, chopped green chilli and lime leaves.’
- ‘In a food processor or blender, combine tomatoes, pepper, salt, coriander powder, ginger and jalapeno peppers.’
- ‘I spice it up with ginger, garlic, chillies, lemon grass and lime juice, not forgetting fresh coriander leaves.’
- 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.’
- ‘The only way to appease is to replace vodka and ginger with vodka and beer.’
- ‘We ended up playing scrabble in the park, drinking vodka and ginger.’
- ‘Orange, apple, ginger, melon - all good with vodka.’
2A SE Asian plant, which resembles bamboo in appearance, from which ginger is taken.
Zingiber officinale, family Zingiberaceae
- ‘We lived from subsistence farming, growing sweet potatoes, corn, some sugarcane, and ginger.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Now, in place of rice fields stood yellowing ginger ready to be harvested.’
- ‘The couple has since added bromeliads, gardenia, ginger, hibiscus, other tropical plants, and a fountain to the atrium.’
3A light reddish-yellow or orange-brown colour.
- ‘I wouldn't put it past him to dye his hair ginger.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘He hasn't aged that well, but that may be down to the fact that he dyes his hair ginger instead of black now.’
- 3.1British derogatory, informal 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's described as 5'11 in height and of medium build with tightly cropped hair and a ginger moustache.’
- ‘She let her thick, wavy, ginger hair down and it fell nicely on her shoulders.’
- ‘But you can bet I'll still get teased for having ginger hair.’
- ‘He had a shaved head and a full ginger beard, with freckles on his face and forearms.’
- ‘She had long flowing ginger hair, and deep almond coloured eyes.’
- ‘Back then, I had long hair and a ginger beard.’
- ‘He would be practically unrecognisable without his signature ginger hair.’
- ‘She had a shock of bright ginger hair reaching well down her back and what looked like an old school satchel over her shoulder.’
- ‘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’
- ‘Milo, a five-year-old ginger cat, was found in a garden close to his home on Hawthorne Street.’
- ‘Tom is ginger and white in colour and quite large.’
- ‘Her ginger cat came sauntering into the room as if he owned it.’
- ‘Mother stopped and looked back at the ginger kitten.’
- ‘Two beautiful ginger tom cats came to live with me and my son John a year ago last September.’
- ‘Currently the Cat Adoption Centre has a ginger mother and four six week-old ginger kittens (two male and two female) ready for adoption.’
- ‘Tim and I have been married for 43 years and our first cat was a beautiful ginger cat whom we called Lion.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘She lives with a 13-year-old ginger tom called Archie.’
- 1.2derogatory, informal (of a person) having red or ginger hair.
1usually as adjective gingeredFlavour with ginger.‘gingered chicken wings’
- ‘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.’
- ‘For today's dinner I made my ‘signature’ pumpkin salad and gingered pork with cheese, an old childhood favorite of mine.’
- ‘Sweet sticky rice topped with fresh mango and kiwi accompanied by gingered chocolate sauce is one of the many sweet sushi delights.’
- ‘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.’
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
- ‘Laughing, she adds, is much healthier than running: it gingers up the metabolism in the same way, but without the negative side effects.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Future plans include moving the shop from its underground location to the street frontage to increase exhibition space and to ginger up revenues.’
- ‘If I can get them gingered up a bit and inspire them to do something different, then I think I am doing my job.’
- ‘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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