Definition of gingerly in US English:

gingerly

adverb

  • In a careful or cautious manner.

    ‘Jackson sat down very gingerly’
    • ‘I dumped my backpack in it, and gingerly climbed up and sat behind him on the motorcycle.’
    • ‘She asked me to take a seat and I sat on the armchair beside her, perching gingerly on the front of it.’
    • ‘Andrew sat down at his private table and gingerly threw his napkin into his lap.’
    • ‘Carefully I slip out from under the covers and I gingerly try putting weight on my bad leg.’
    • ‘Sophie sat up and gingerly slid her hand between the pillow and the mattress.’
    • ‘She was laughing as Josh gingerly sat down and started a playful wrestling match.’
    • ‘I obliged her request and sat gingerly in the arm chair, turned slightly to face her.’
    • ‘The old boy got up rather gingerly, but insisted on playing on.’
    • ‘Gently, gingerly, she picked up the shoe and held it carefully in her cupped hand.’
    • ‘When he returns I'm sitting gingerly in the corner of the very small dance floor.’
    • ‘Nicky returned from washing his hands and sat gingerly on the edge of the sofa.’
    • ‘I could feel scabs tearing and scratches throbbing when I gingerly sat on the mattress beside her.’
    • ‘I gingerly picked the whole thing up and headed out of the house.’
    • ‘She sat down on the floor next to him and gingerly fingered the pages of the book he had in his lap.’
    • ‘She picked it up under the watchful eye of the stall keeper, and held it gingerly in her hands.’
    • ‘Amy leapt gingerly up onto the bed and climbed carefully into Tara's lap.’
    • ‘He went over to the sofa, limping slightly, and sat down gingerly.’
    • ‘With a nod of his head as he inhaled the cigarette smoke, Laurie sat down rather gingerly.’
    • ‘He jumped as flames licked his tail and sprinted gingerly away, careful to avoid more pain.’
    • ‘She said nothing and sat up in her bed and folded the paper gingerly in her hand.’
    cautiously, carefully, with caution, with care, circumspectly, delicately, warily, charily, guardedly, prudently, judiciously, on one's guard, on the alert, on the lookout, on the qui vive, suspiciously, attentively, heedfully, watchfully, vigilantly, observantly, alertly, cannily
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adjective

  • Showing great care or caution.

    ‘with strangers the preliminaries are taken at a gingerly pace’

Origin

Early 16th century (in the sense ‘daintily, mincingly’): perhaps from Old French gensor ‘delicate’, comparative of gent ‘graceful’, from Latin genitus ‘(well-) born’.

Pronunciation

gingerly

/ˈdʒɪndʒərli//ˈjinjərlē/