Etymology 1Edit

ginger +‎ -ly



gingerly (comparative more gingerly, superlative most gingerly)

  1. In a delicate and cautious manner.
    He placed the glass jar gingerly on the concrete step.
    • 2012 June 3, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Mr. Plow” (season 4, episode 9; originally aired 11/19/1992)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1]:
      Purchasing a snowplow transforms Homer into a new man. Mr. Burns' laziest employee suddenly becomes an ambitious self-starter who buys ad time on local television at 3:17 A.M (prime viewing hours, Homer gingerly volunteers, for everyone from alcoholics to the unemployable to garden-variety angry loners) and makes a homemade commercial costarring his family.
    • 2014 January 20, Michael Daly, “The Black and White Men Who Saved Martin Luther King’s Life”, in The Daily Beast[2]:
      King was later said to have been within a sneeze or a jolt of extinction. Were it not for the pair of cops who gingerly carried him from Blumstein’s department store and the pair of surgeons who performed lifesaving surgery at Harlem Hospital there would have been no “I Have a Dream” speech and likely no national holiday honoring him.


Etymology 2Edit

ginger +‎ -ly


gingerly (comparative more gingerly, superlative most gingerly)

  1. Very careful or cautious.
    • 1867, Rebecca Harding Davis, Waiting For The Verdict, chapter 19 “The Valley of the Shadow”, published 1868 in The Galaxy magazine, volume 4, page 223:
      But, ther’s somethin’ in the very look and voice of Jeems Strebling, even in his gingerly walk, that riles all the black drop in me.
    • 1886, Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge, chapter 45:
      [] penetrating cautiously into dark cellars, sallying forth with gingerly tread to the garden, now leaf-strewn by autumn winds []
    • 1961, March, Trains Illustrated, Ian Allan Ltd., page 185, photo caption:
      The down "Atlantic Coast Express", headed by Pacific No. 35020 Bibby Line, passes the scene of operations at a gingerly 10 m.p.h.
    • 2012, David Mack, Star Trek: The Next Generation — Cold Equations Book One: Persistence of Memory, chapter 28:
      Several gingerly taps on her console fired clusters of modified probes into the maelstrom of the gas giant’s atmosphere.

Derived termsEdit