from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A colloid in which the disperse phase has combined with the dispersion medium to produce a semisolid material, such as a jelly.
  • n. See gelatin.
  • n. A jellylike substance used in styling hair.
  • intransitive v. To become a gel.
  • transitive v. To apply a gel to (the hair).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A semi-solid to almost solid colloid of a solid and a liquid, such as jelly, cheese or opal.
  • n. Any gel intended for a particular cosmetic use, such as for styling the hair.
  • v. To apply (cosmetic) gel to (the hair, etc).
  • v. To become a gel.
  • v. To develop a rapport.
  • n. A girl.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A gelatinous or albuminous protoplasmic substance, especially the protoplasm of nerve-cells.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. become a gel
  • v. apply a styling gel to
  • n. a colloid in a more solid form than a sol
  • n. a thin translucent membrane used over stage lights for color effects


Short for gelatin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Coined by Thomas Graham in the mid 19th century as a clipping of gelatin, from French gélatine, from Italian gelatina, diminutive form of gelata ("iced"), from Latin gelata, past participle of gelo ("to freeze"), from gelu ("frost"), from Proto-Indo-European *gel- (“cold”) (Wiktionary)
Imitative of upper-class British pronunciation of girl. (Wiktionary)



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  • in cycling, gel is a high sugar syrup pack to provide carbohydrates and electrolytes
    also in cycling, it's built into some bike seats, bike shorts, gloves, and even handlebar tape.

    January 12, 2013

  • Like a felon. I'm like Magellan I'm so gel'in. Would you like some melon?

    January 19, 2007

  • I love using "gel" more as a verb than as a noun - as in, "Once the professor explained more on the topic, the concept began to 'gel' better in my mind." I'm sure many of us are also familiar with how the commmercial for that one company's gel inserts uses it in their tagline "Are you gel'in?"

    January 19, 2007