noun (plural gypsies)
1 (usually Gypsy) A member of a travelling people traditionally living by itinerant trade and fortune telling. Gypsies speak a language (Romany) that is related to Hindi and are believed to have originated in South Asia.
- But then, with the growing interest in gypsies, and in fortune-telling, many gypsies stopped travelling to become showmen.
- Many Romany gypsies and Irish travellers have since been unable to find suitable sites and have occupied land without planning permission.
- The history of Romany gipsies and Irish travellers in Yorkshire is a long and turbulent one - and conflict with locals and the authorities is nothing new.
2 informal A nomadic or free-spirited person: why should she choose to wander the world with a penniless gypsy like me?
More example sentences
- Depending upon the circumstances, a gypsy may retain his nomadic habit of life even though he is not travelling for the time being.
- It's why I have no difficulty with Carmen: even if I was not free, I understood her because I have a gypsy, nomadic side.
- He felt a certain sense of dread slowly creep over him as he watched her move to sit with another group of the nomadic gypsies.
- Example sentences
- He blew a gypsyish tangle of dark hair from his eyes and picked up his fag from where it was perched.
- From his gypsyish complexion, the boy was thought to be Welsh.
- What results is a continent of gypsyish blues, punctuated by eclectic folk influences.
Mid 16th century: originally gipcyan, short for Egyptian (because Gypsies were popularly supposed to have come from Egypt).
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