The gills of this fish are clearly visible.
An example of a gill is the organ that a goldfish uses to breathe water in order to get oxygen.
- the organ for breathing of most animals that live in water, as fish, lobsters, or clams, consisting of a simple saclike or complex feathery evagination of the body surface, usually richly supplied with blood
- the red flesh hanging below the beak of a fowl; wattle
- the flesh under and about the chin and lower jaw of a person
- any of the thin, leaflike, radiating plates on the undersurface of a mushroom, on which the basidiospores are produced
Origin of gillMiddle English gile, probably from Anglo-N from or akin to Old Norse gj?lnar, jaws, gills, older Danish (fiske) gaeln, Swedish gäl from Indo-European base an unverified form ghelun?-, jaw from source Classical Greek chelyn?, lip, jaw
to the gills
Origin of gillMiddle English gille from OFr, measure for wine from Late Latin gillo, cooling vessel
Origin of gillcontr. of Gillian, proper name from Classical Latin Juliana, feminine of Julianus: see Julian
- a wooded ravine or glen
- a narrow stream; brook
Origin of gillMiddle English gille from Old Norse gil from Indo-European base an unverified form ?heri-, to gape from source yawn, Classical Latin hiatus
- Zoology The respiratory organ of most aquatic animals that obtain oxygen from water, consisting of a filamentous structure of vascular membranes across which dissolved gases are exchanged.
- a. often gills The wattle of a bird.b. gills Informal The area around the chin and neck.
- Botany One of the thin, platelike structures on the underside of the cap of a mushroom or similar fungus.
verbgilled, gill·ing, gills
- To catch (fish) in a gill net.
- To gut or clean (fish).
Origin of gillMiddle English gile of Scandinavian origin
A fish breathes by swallowing water and passing it through gill slits on each side of its head. Blood-filled filaments on the gills extract oxygen from the water as it flows through.
nounAbbr. gi or gi.
- A unit of volume or capacity in the US Customary System, used in liquid measure, equal to 14 of a pint or four ounces (118 milliliters).
- A unit of volume or capacity, used in dry and liquid measure, equal to 14 of a British Imperial pint (142 milliliters).
Origin of gillMiddle English gille from Old French wine measure from Late Latin gillō vessel for cooling liquids
- A ravine.
- A narrow stream.
Origin of gillMiddle English gille from Old Norse gil
also jill or Gill
Origin of gillMiddle English gille from Gille a woman's name
- (animal anatomy) A breathing organ of fish and other aquatic animals.
- (of a fish) A gill slit or gill cover.
- Gill nets are designed to catch a fish by the gills.
- (mycology) One of the radial folds on the underside of the cap of a mushroom, on the surface of which the spore-producing organs are borne.
- (animal anatomy) The fleshy flap that hangs below the beak of a fowl; a wattle.
- (figuratively) The flesh under or about the chin; a wattle.
- (spinning) One of the combs of closely ranged steel pins which divide the ribbons of flax fiber or wool into fewer parallel filaments.
From Middle English gile (“gill”), from Old Norse giolnar (“lips”)
From Old French gille (“a wine measure”), from Medieval Latin gillo (“earthenware jar”)
From Middle English gille, from Old Norse gil
- A two-wheeled frame for transporting timber.
- (Scotland) A leech.