Definition of gimlet in English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At a later date, a special steel gimlet was sometimes provided to penetrate the more modern tin cap in situ.’
    • ‘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, gimlet, awl, bradawl
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  • 2A cocktail of gin (or sometimes vodka) and lime juice.

    • ‘I would especially recommend the mojito and the vodka gimlet - delicious!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We sat at the bar, and the guy behind it knew April by name, and gave her the usual, a vodka gimlet.’
    • ‘‘Sometimes I feel like I'm trapped in my past,’ said Sarah, buzzing from her gin gimlet.’
    • ‘The lawyer always drank three vodka gimlets on the way to Chicago and three scotch and sodas returning to New York.’


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