Main definitions of gel in US English:

: gel1gel2

gel1

nounPlural gels

  • 1mass noun A a thick, clear, slightly sticky substance, especially one used in cosmetic or medicinal products.

    ‘hair gel’
    • ‘Amy tilted up his face and soothed the cool gel onto his cheekbones with her fingertips.’
    • ‘Even so, I gasped when I felt the cool gel drizzle onto my back.’
    • ‘The gel was applied onto the skin with use of the fingers to apply a slight massage.’
    • ‘It takes approximately 30 seconds to apply the shaving gel and 5 to 7 minutes to shave.’
    • ‘The objecthood smeared out across the packed gel produces interference patterns, waves.’
    • ‘Possibly he has little complimentary sachets of shampoo and shower gel too.’
    • ‘The gel can be rubbed onto chrome surfaces where it forms a robust, long-lasting soft film that is virtually colourless.’
    • ‘I was wondering if you could possibly send me any information on your shower gel products.’
    • ‘They can already produce moulded gel implants and are now looking for a hospital whose surgeons are unhappy with silicone implants.’
    • ‘In recent days, plenty of baby clothes, diaper-rash ointment, teething gel and strollers have arrived, along with a lot of small checks.’
    • ‘I also discovered that my nails will be ruined, as they have glued the extensions directly on to them, rather than onto a layer of gel.’
    • ‘I set him down on the counter and then grabbed my shave gel out of the medicine cabinet.’
    • ‘For this reason they are usually mixed with gel or paste products to keep them in contact with the sealer longer.’
    • ‘Do not use irritating, perfumed soaps, shower gel or deodorants.’
    • ‘I squeezed some shampoo gel onto my hands and rubbed them quickly together, making lather.’
    • ‘Gently easing her back onto the comfortable bed she pulled up her top and watched as the cold gel was smothered onto her belly.’
    • ‘One particularly effective treatment for comedone acne is available as a cream, gel and lotion.’
    • ‘The clear gel is a skin prep, shaving gel and aftershave lotion.’
    • ‘But these warnings are not required on shampoo, shower gel or family bubble bath, all of which can legally contain four times as much formaldehyde.’
    • ‘If the mother produced only eggs, and not the additional protective coats or spacing gel, she could produce up to twice as many.’
    1. 1.1Chemistry A semisolid colloidal suspension of a solid dispersed in a liquid.
  • 2Biochemistry
    A semirigid slab or cylinder of an organic polymer used as a medium for the separation of macromolecules.

verbgels, gelling, gelled

[no object]British
  • 1(of a liquid or semiliquid substance) set or become more solid.

    ‘the stew is gelling’
    set, stiffen, solidify, thicken, harden
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Chemistry Form into a gel.
      ‘the mixture gelled at 7 degrees Celsius’
      • ‘The gelatin mixture was allowed to gel at 4°C protected from light.’
      • ‘Root starches do not gel, and generally the cold paste remains comparatively clear.’
  • 2(of a project or idea) take a definite form or begin to work well.

    ‘everything seemed to gel for the magazine’
    • ‘He then turned to the mirror and gelled his hair down smooth.’
    • ‘His hair was gelled, showing his natural curls.’
    • ‘His hair had been gelled to perfection, and he looked steaming hot.’
    • ‘I took my shower, gelled my hair, and put on a tux.’
    • ‘He's soon shifting styles, painting his suit jacket up and gelling his hair into a spike.’
    • ‘His wood brown hair was gelled into spikes as usual and not a hair dared to venture out of place.’
    • ‘He was dressed in an Elvis outfit, and his hair was gelled up.’
    • ‘The light reflected off of his slick, gelled brown hair.’
    • ‘His hair wasn't gelled, and it was barely combed.’
    • ‘His dirty blonde hair was gelled and styled perfectly.’
    • ‘He had straight, dark hair that was gelled into spikes.’
    • ‘His usually messy hair was gelled up into spikes and he reeked of aftershave.’
    • ‘My hair was gelled back (following the precise instructions of my ‘date’ for the night) and I was wearing a tuxedo.’
    • ‘After my shower I gelled my hair and got dressed.’
    • ‘His blonde hair was gelled and he smelled of cologne.’
    • ‘His dark brown hair was gelled into a messy sort of look.’
    • ‘His blonde hair was forever gelled into spikes and he had a dangerous way of listening that made me feel like what I was saying was something he had wanted to hear all his life.’
    • ‘Since I never cut my hair yesterday, I tried gelling my hair into center parting.’
    • ‘Her blue-blonde hair was gelled in its usual pixie look.’
    • ‘I gelled my hair so it would keep its messily spiked style and grabbed a beaded hemp necklace that one of my friends had made for me off the bathroom counter.’
    take shape, come together, fall into place, happen, take form, form, emerge, crystallize, materialize, become definite
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 (of people) work well together.
      ‘during the tour they continued to gel as a band’
  • 3with object Apply gel to (the hair)

    ‘they'd gelled their hair’
    ‘short gelled hair’
    • ‘The shorter man with black hair that was gelled back got impatient.’
    • ‘His hair was short and gelled, making it stick up in a spiky fashion.’
    • ‘He had dark gelled hair and may have been unshaven.’
    • ‘His short brown hair was gelled into place, and the grin that took up most of his face looked both genuine and permanent.’
    • ‘Where his hair had once been gelled into the perfect position, it was now hanging into his eyes.’
    • ‘He had dark chocolate brown hair that was gelled so it spiked slightly at the front.’
    • ‘His carefully gelled hair was swept back into a slick hairstyle.’
    • ‘His dark, short, spiky hair was gelled and he was wearing a dark, long-sleeved shirt with light-coloured trousers.’
    • ‘Her short black and blue hair is gelled back off her face and she has dark gothic make-up on her face.’
    • ‘His brown hair was gelled off to the side and his round, chubby face was set on his shoulders as though he didn't have a neck.’
    • ‘His hair hadn't been gelled today so it was slightly messed up.’
    • ‘I gel my hair so it looks cool, and I don't shave so I have designer stubble.’
    • ‘The guy looked older than Marie and had dark brown hair that was gelled.’
    • ‘His short curly auburn hair was gelled to stay in position and he looked at me with huge brown eyes.’
    • ‘He had short, gelled, spiky dark hair, a ring in his left eyebrow and bad skin.’
    • ‘He wore a simple polo shirt and jeans and had his hair gelled a little.’
    • ‘His hair had been gelled so that it was messy again, as though he'd just woken up.’
    • ‘I gelled my hair and then put on some rings, a bracelet, necklace, and earrings.’
    • ‘I scooped a handful of bubbles and rubbed it into his perfectly gelled hair.’
    • ‘He wore formal black pants, and his blonde hair was gelled back, away from his forehead.’

Origin

Late 19th century: abbreviation of gelatin. See also jell.

Pronunciation

gel

/dʒɛl//jel/

Main definitions of gel in US English:

: gel1gel2

gel2

nounPlural gels

British
informal
  • An upper-class or well-bred girl or young woman.

    ‘fastidiously reared Home Counties gels’
    • ‘There were instances of well-bred middle-class gels entering into marriage with only the haziest idea of how babies were conceived and born.’
    • ‘All that our boys in blue need to do is sit on the top deck of a number 27 Edinburgh bus and listen for a few minutes to those posh gels on their way to lectures at the capital's university and they'd be able to dish out any number of £80 fines.’
    • ‘On the night I was in, there were two parties of those loud, well-bred gels who couldn't get into Oxbridge and had to study at Edinburgh instead.’
    • ‘Roaming gaggles of extremely ditsy young gels wriggle in and out of designer coffee bars.’
    • ‘I can't imagine Lauren Bacall playing a debby young English gel, can you?’

Origin

Mid 19th century: representing a pronunciation of girl.

Pronunciation

gel

/ɡɛl/