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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Gimbal \Gim"bal\ (g[i^]m"bal), or Gimbals \Gim"bals\ (g[i^]m"balz), n. [See Gimmal, n.] A contrivance for permitting a body to incline freely in all directions, or for suspending anything, as a barometer, ship's compass, chronometer, etc., so that it will remain plumb, or level, when its support is tipped, as by the rolling of a ship. It consists of a ring in which the body can turn on an axis through a diameter of the ring, while the ring itself is so pivoted to its support that it can turn about a diameter at right angles to the first.

Gimbal joint (Mach.), a universal joint embodying the principle of the gimbal.

Gimbal ring, a single gimbal, as that by which the cockeye of the upper millstone is supported on the spindle.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1570s, "joints, connecting links;" alteration of gemel "twins" (late 14c.), from Old French jumel (Modern French jumeau) "a twin," from Latin gemellus, diminutive of geminus (see geminate). Related: Gimbals.


n. A device for suspending something, such as a ship's compass, so that it will remain level when its support is tipped. vb. to use a gimbal


A gimbal is a pivoted support that allows the rotation of an object about a single axis. A set of three gimbals, one mounted on the other with orthogonal pivot axes, may be used to allow an object mounted on the innermost gimbal to remain independent of the rotation of its support (e.g. vertical in the first animation). For example, on a ship, the gyroscopes, shipboard compasses, stoves, and even drink holders typically use gimbals to keep them upright with respect to the horizon despite the ship's pitching and rolling.

The gimbal suspension used for mounting compasses and the like is sometimes called a Cardan suspension after Italian mathematician and physicist Gerolamo Cardano (1501–1576) described it in detail. However, Cardano did not invent the gimbal, nor did he claim to. The device has been known since antiquity and may not have a single identifiable inventor.

Gimbal (company)

Gimbal, Inc. is a San Diego, CA-based mobile customer engagement and location solutions company. The company develops technology that allows its customers to deliver custom content to their own customers' mobile apps, using beacons, wireless proximity sensing technology powered using Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), in addition to geofences.

Originally incubated as part of wireless semiconductor company Qualcomm, Gimbal was launched as its own company in 2014.

Usage examples of "gimbal".

If they could not get the beta gimbal assembly to unlock, they could not reorient the solar panels toward the sun, they be starved for power.

The EVA crew never had a chance to complete the gimbal repairs, so they remain in power down.

A cluster of screens mounted over his head, inside the gimbal system, came to life and showed him the outside, all around and fore and aft.

A lantern on a gimbal in the center of the room gave mellow light that swayed as the barge was moved by the water responding to gusts of air and wakes upon the river left by passing craft.

There was a couch in gimbals, and there were control pedestals rooted in the tapering hull and converging on the couch.

The funnel moved lightly on its gimbals, and the entire assembly spun smoothly on its turntable frame.

There were two folding tables on gimbals, two vinyl-covered sofas bolted to the deck, a stack of plastic chairs, racks of paperback books and, on a shelf, a television set and VCR.

Entering my room, lighted strongly by a big bulkhead lamp swung on gimbals above my writing desk, I did not see him anywhere till he stepped out quietly from behind the coats hung in the recessed part.

The arms turned inward on themselves, rotating on universal gimbals so that the evacuated hold yawned before them, and the cradle came up on its tracks to meet them.

Coal-oil lamps in gimbals cast a warm light on the dark wood fittings and on the leather upholstered chairs.

And all the engineers marveled over the construction of the city itself, with particular marveling reserved for the re- markable Terratin city gimbal support system.

She heated the point of her blade in the smoky flame of the lantern in the gimbal above her head, ran the blade down the seams of the shift in her lap, and the nits popped and frizzled.

He imagined phone lines singing as the ground controllers and the crew worked through comprehensive checklists covering the propulsion systems, gimbal systems, gyros, computers, life support, spreading their findings out across the country.

So we've made a whole stack of modifications: we increased the oxidizer inducer diameter, strengthened the gimbal seat and the cross block, strengthened the high pressure ducts and the thrust chambers, beefed up the turbine exhaust manifold, improved the heat exchanger, increased the power of the turbine.

Eventually he found a boot, with a bit of ankle and gimbal joint protruding from its top.