Definition of gingerly in English:

Share this entry

gingerly

Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɪndʒəli/

adverb

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.
Synonyms
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;

adjective

Showing great care or caution: a gingerly pace

Derivatives

gingerliness

noun
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.

Origin

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

Line breaks: gin|ger¦ly

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.