• WordNet 3.6
    • n gimbal an appliance that allows an object (such as a ship's compass) to remain horizontal even as its support tips
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Gimbal 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.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n gimbal A contrivance, as a ring moving on horizontal pivots, for securing free motion in suspension, or for suspending anything, as a chronometer, so that it may keep a constant position or remain in equilibrium. The name is most commonly used in the plural, applied to two movable hoops or rings, the one within the other, the outer capable of rotation about a fixed horizontal axis lying in its plane, and the inner capable of rotation about an axis lying in the planes of both rings and perpendicular to the fixed axis. The mariners' compass is suspended by such a contrivance, and, having a free motion in two directions at right angles to each other, it maintains the card in a horizontal position, notwithstanding the rolling of the ship.
    • n gimbal Joined or interlocked work whose parts move within each other, as a bridle-bit or interlocked rings; a gemel-ring.
    • n gimbal A quaint piece of mechanism; a gimcrack.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Gimbal gim′bal a contrivance for suspending the mariner's compass, so as to keep it always horizontal.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
See Gimmal (n.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Through Fr. from L. gemelli, twins.


In literature:

The lighted sea-lamps swung and leaped in their gimbals, ever battling with the dancing shadows in the murky gray.
"The Mutiny of the Elsinore" by Jack London
The lamp over the round table vibrated in its gimbals, but did not swing.
"Sheila of Big Wreck Cove" by James A. Cooper
Pelham took a match from his pocket and lighted the lamp, which swung on gimbals in the room.
"Outward Bound" by Oliver Optic
But in an emergency his brain leveled itself like a ship's compass gimballed to hang plumb in the suddenest typhoon.
"Empire Builders" by Francis Lynde
There was a great box swinging in twenty-foot gimbal rings over in the Shed.
"Space Tug" by Murray Leinster
The lamps down in the cabin are hung on gimbals.
"Rollo on the Atlantic" by Jacob Abbott
Judah, with one eye upon the barometer swinging in its gimbals in the General Minot front entry, had gloomily prophesied rain.
"Fair Harbor" by Joseph Crosby Lincoln
When he opened his eyes he looked up and saw a hanging-lamp that creaked on its gimbals as it swayed to the roll of the schooner.
"Blow The Man Down" by Holman Day
They are furnished with gimbals, the cross-pieces being connected by a rafter.
"Celebrated Travels and Travellers" by Jules Verne
They are set like a compass on gimbals.
"Japanese Fairy World" by William Elliot Griffis
The two big lamps, upright in their gimbals, shed a warm, bright glow about the cabin.
"Fire Mountain" by Norman Springer
The commander's eyes stayed unwaveringly on the control sphere mounted in gimbals before her.
"The Women-Stealers of Thrayx" by Fox B. Holden
By the light of the lamp swinging in its gimbals, he could see five men seated on the floor with their hands tied behind them.
"Doubloons--and the Girl" by John Maxwell Forbes
He opened the scuttles, hooked back the door, and lit the brass gimbal-lamp.
"Command" by William McFee
To effect this they are suspended in gimbals by a brass arm.
"A Treatise on Meteorological Instruments" by Henry Negretti
A light was burning in his father's state-room, the light of a candle hung in gimbals.
"The Island of Gold" by Gordon Stables
The light from a horn lantern hanging in its gimbals struggled with the smoke that filled the room.
"With Drake on the Spanish Main" by Herbert Strang
The meter is in gimbals and is directed by a conical rudder which keeps it facing the stream with its axis horizontal.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 14, Slice 1" by Various
He struck a match and lighted a lamp that hung in "gimbals" on the bulkhead.
"The Ocean Wireless Boys and the Lost Liner" by Wilbur Lawton
The reflectors and lamps are hung in gimbals to preserve the horizontal direction of the beams.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 16, Slice 6" by Various

In news:

Mag's new six-axis FTR AutoDrill combines a rigid boring mill chassis and an extended-reach ram with a powerful gimbal head for precise milling and drilling.
The new gimbal designed by engineers at Ross-Hime Design Inc in Minneapolis, will give cameras and other sensors mounted on military UAVs 180° of horizon-to-horizon tracking.
The Gimbal features two high-density polyethylene plates connected by hook-and-loop fasteners.
Gimbals honey lovers jelly beans.
Apple granted patent for gimballed scroll wheel.
It was fashioned of polished brass and swung in gimbals to keep it level in all attitudes.
Announced its high performance silicone cable assemblies that are found on military jet aircraft in applications such as targeting pods, fuel control systems and missile gimbal and guidance systems.
Each model is designed with a 3-axis gimbal with pan, tilt, and rotate functions, a...
Fighting fish with stand-up gear is fun — until you shove a metal gimbal butt into your gut.
Tournament Cable Cooler Gimbal.

In science:

For any two-axis “gimbal” mount, the basic a priori model consists of seven terms: two encoder index errors, two non-perpendicularities, two azimuth-axis tilt components, and Hooke’s Law flexure.
Evaluation of the ALMA Prototype Antennas
In addition, a limited degree of automatic Sun-tracking capability is afforded by the α-gimbals on the ISS.
Science, Technology and Mission Design for the Laser Astrometric Test Of Relativity
In the current instrument design the entire beam launcher optical assembly is gimbaled to point the metrology beam to the target spacecraft.
Science, Technology and Mission Design for the Laser Astrometric Test Of Relativity
The 2-axis gimbal has a center of rotation at the center of the cat’s eye retro reflector.
Science, Technology and Mission Design for the Laser Astrometric Test Of Relativity
The gimbal will have a range of 1◦ and a pointing resolution of 0.5 arcsec.
Science, Technology and Mission Design for the Laser Astrometric Test Of Relativity
The LATOR instrument in each of the two spacecraft consists of three laser metrology transmitters and receivers that can be gimbaled to point at the other spacecraft, and a camera system to acquire the incoming laser signals and to control the pointing of the outgoing beams.
Science, Technology and Mission Design for the Laser Astrometric Test Of Relativity
Continuous angles of rotary joints and gimbals are approximated by discrete variables which limits the state space.
A Near-Term Quantum Computing Approach for Hard Computational Problems in Space Exploration