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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Gamin \Gam"in\, n. [F.] A neglected and untrained city boy; a young street Arab.

In Japan, the gamins run after you, and say, 'Look at the Chinaman.'
--L. Oliphant.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"street urchin," 1837, from French gamin (late 18c.), perhaps from Berrichon dialect gamer "to steal." Introduced in English in translations of Hugo.\n\nUn groupe d'enfants, de ces petits sauvages vanu-pieds qui ont de tout temps battu le pavé de Paris sous le nom éternel de gamins, et qui, lorsque nous étions enfants aussi, nous ont jeté des pierres à tous, le soir, au sortir de classe, parce que nos pantalons n'étaient pas déchirés; etc.

[Hugo, "Notre-Dame de Paris"]


n. A street urchin; a homeless boy.


n. a homeless child who has been abandoned and roams the streets [syn: street arab, throwaway]


Gamín ( English: street urchins) is a 1977 Colombian documentary film written and directed by Ciro Durán.

Usage examples of "gamin".

She was twelve years older, a lot less the gamin, classy and self-possessed now, but it was Kate nonetheless.

I am sure that no one ever felt any repugnance on being introduced by Cervantes to the muleteers, contrabandistas, servants and serving-maids, and idle vagabonds of Spain, any more than to an acquaintance with the beggar-boys and street gamins on the canvases of Murillo.

There was a certain amount of the gamin element in the girl, at all events she invariably got on well with small boys.

A few gamins, however, were around, in their eyes a suppressed eagerness in anticipation of wonderful and exciting things to happen.

Then quiet again, though the gamins had startled and listened, like young deer, at the sound.

The million and a half of small boys of whom I have already spoken--mostly street gamins, owing to the lateness of the hour--sprang up from all about us.

Presently, he put down his fork and beckoned the smaller of the women in black, a platinum blond with darker eyebrows and gamin features.

Soon they were facing a circle of guns, and had to stand helplessly while one of the shipmen with a communicator hysterically reported the capture to Gamin Sher.