Definition of gingerly in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈjinjərlē/


In a careful or cautious manner: Jackson sat down very gingerly
More example sentences
  • He jumped as flames licked his tail and sprinted gingerly away, careful to avoid more pain.
  • 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.
cautiously, carefully, with care, warily, charily, circumspectly, delicately;
heedfully, watchfully, vigilantly, attentively;
hesitantly, timidly


Showing great care or caution: with strangers the preliminaries are taken at a gingerly pace



Example sentences
  • After some cautious prodding I put some weight on it, checked that the muscles worked both ways and limped downstairs, exploring the outer limits of gingerliness.
  • But nonetheless you couldn't escape the general gingerliness of the show, the forced politeness of the proceedings.
  • For the past 10 years he has lived with his family in New York, and a reader senses in his rather elaborate approach a gingerliness about going back.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gin·ger·ly

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