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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Gif \Gif\, conj. [AS. See If.] If. [Obs.]

Note: Gif is the old form of if, and frequently occurs in the earlier English writers. See If.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1987, acronym from Graphics Interchange Format.


n. (alternative case form of GIF English)


The Graphics Interchange Format (better known by its acronym GIF or ) is a bitmap image format that was developed by US-based software writer Steve Wilhite while working at the internet service provider CompuServe in 1987 and has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability.

The format supports up to 8 bits per pixel for each image, allowing a single image to reference its own palette of up to 256 different colors chosen from the 24-bit RGB color space. It also supports animations and allows a separate palette of up to 256 colors for each frame. These palette limitations make the GIF format less suitable for reproducing color photographs and other images with continuous color, but it is well-suited for simpler images such as graphics or logos with solid areas of color.

GIF images are compressed using the Lempel–Ziv–Welch (LZW) lossless data compression technique to reduce the file size without degrading the visual quality. This compression technique was patented in 1985. Controversy over the licensing agreement between the software patent holder, Unisys, and CompuServe in 1994 spurred the development of the Portable Network Graphics (PNG) standard. By 2004 all the relevant patents had expired.

GIF (disambiguation)

GIF is an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format, a bitmap image format.

GIF may also refer to:

  • Gainesville Improv Festival
  • Governance Interoperability Framework, a specification and set of technologies supporting interoperability in a service-oriented architecture (SOA)
  • GIF Sundsvall, Swedish football club
  • Gifford-Inchelium Ferry, on the Columbia River in Washington, United States
  • Winter Haven's Gilbert Airport in Florida, United States (IATA airport code: GIF)
  • Generation IV International Forum
  • Gif-sur-Yvette, a commune in the département of Essonne, France
  • Gastric intrinsic factor, a glycoprotein produced in the stomach
  • Granular iron formation, a type of rock similar to Banded iron formation

Usage examples of "gif".

I shall gif you tausend crowns, and die liddle vone shall haf tausend crowns for her toury, and you shall infest it in her name.

How could I have forgotten so generous a gifta bare score of moldy hams, some barrels of weevily flour and two tuns of inferior wine.

Everyone thought I was so brave giving orders about what to do with the bodies and sending to the Ealdorman and looking after Gifta.

Gifta hopping about in a state of overexcitement and the thrall encouraging her.

Millions of GIFs of people with their pets, people on the beach, favorite cars, movie stars both dressed and nude, cartoons, clip art, weather maps, NASA images.

It not only gifs us a better Drachenflieger, but it remofes our last uneasiness as to Great Pritain.