Definition of gimlet in English:



  • 1A small T-shaped tool with a screw-tip for boring holes.

    • ‘At a later date, a special steel gimlet was sometimes provided to penetrate the more modern tin cap in situ.’
    • ‘The three small lead weights, a long chalk line reel, and two ash handles thought to be gimlets (small boring tools) are the only objects associated with carpentry that were found in the chest.’
    • ‘After insertion to the shoulder, the gimlet would be unscrewed a few turns to allow the liquid to flow out, then screwed back into the barrel to stop the flow.’
    drilling tool, boring tool, rotary tool, auger, bit, brace and bit, awl, bradawl
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  • 2A cocktail of gin (or sometimes vodka) and lime juice.

    • ‘The lawyer always drank three vodka gimlets on the way to Chicago and three scotch and sodas returning to New York.’
    • ‘We sat at the bar, and the guy behind it knew April by name, and gave her the usual, a vodka gimlet.’
    • ‘The next afternoon, my father was sipping gimlets and preparing an extravagant meal for the four of us to share around the glass dining table.’
    • ‘I would especially recommend the mojito and the vodka gimlet - delicious!’
    • ‘‘Sometimes I feel like I'm trapped in my past,’ said Sarah, buzzing from her gin gimlet.’


Middle English: from Old French guimbelet, diminutive of guimble ‘drill’, ultimately of Germanic origin.