Definition of gypsy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈjipsē/
(also gipsy)

noun (plural gypsies)

1 (usually Gypsy) A member of a traveling 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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
1.1The language of the gypsies; Romany.
2A nomadic or free-spirited person.
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.


(Of a business or business person) nonunion or unlicensed: gypsy trucking firms



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).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gyp·sy

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