Definition of ginger in English:

ginger

noun

  • 1A hot, fragrant spice made from the rhizome of a plant, which may be chopped or powdered for cooking, preserved in syrup, or candied.

    • ‘I spice it up with ginger, garlic, chillies, lemon grass and lime juice, not forgetting fresh coriander leaves.’
    • ‘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.’
    flavour, taste, savour
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    1. 1.1
      short for ginger ale
      • ‘The only way to appease is to replace vodka and ginger with vodka and beer.’
      • ‘Orange, apple, ginger, melon - all good with vodka.’
      • ‘We ended up playing scrabble in the park, drinking vodka and ginger.’
      • ‘She is partial to a small sherry at lunchtime and a brandy and dry ginger or a gin-and-tonic in the evening.’
  • 2A SE Asian plant, which resembles bamboo in appearance, from which ginger is taken.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 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’

adjective

  • 1(chiefly of hair or fur) of a light reddish-yellow or orange-brown colour.

    • ‘He's described as 5'11 in height and of medium build with tightly cropped hair and a ginger moustache.’
    • ‘But you can bet I'll still get teased for having ginger hair.’
    • ‘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 would be practically unrecognisable without his signature ginger hair.’
    • ‘She had long flowing ginger hair, and deep almond coloured eyes.’
    • ‘She let her thick, wavy, ginger hair down and it fell nicely on her shoulders.’
    • ‘He had a shaved head and a full ginger beard, with freckles on his face and forearms.’
    • ‘Back then, I had long hair and a ginger beard.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She had a shock of bright ginger hair reaching well down her back and what looked like an old school satchel over her shoulder.’
    reddish-brown, tawny, chestnut, russet, coppery, copper, auburn, titian, reddish, ginger, gingery, rusty, rufous
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    1. 1.1 (of a cat) having ginger fur:
      ‘a ginger tom’
      • ‘Mother stopped and looked back at the ginger kitten.’
      • ‘Tom is ginger and white in colour and quite large.’
      • ‘Her ginger cat came sauntering into the room as if he owned it.’
      • ‘She lives with a 13-year-old ginger tom called Archie.’
      • ‘Tim and I have been married for 43 years and our first cat was a beautiful ginger cat whom we called Lion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Currently the Cat Adoption Centre has a ginger mother and four six week-old ginger kittens (two male and two female) ready for adoption.’
      • ‘Two beautiful ginger tom cats came to live with me and my son John a year ago last September.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2informal, derogatory (of a person) having red or ginger hair.

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1usually as adjective gingeredFlavour with ginger:

    ‘gingered sweet-potato salad’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For the main course we had grilled sirloin and gingered chickpea fries, washed down with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.’
    • ‘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/thing upMake someone or something more lively:

    ‘she slapped his hand lightly to ginger him up’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Laughing, she adds, is much healthier than running: it gingers up the metabolism in the same way, but without the negative side effects.’
    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, nourish
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Origin

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.

Pronunciation:

ginger

/ˈdʒɪndʒə/