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Open Dictionary word of the day: gisting

gisting (noun)

looking for the main idea or most important point in a written or spoken text
Although the translations were served quickly and in all the language pairs that Google Translate offers, some of the formatting and page layout got lost. But if your purpose is gisting, this feature appears to be ideal.
(Submitted from the United Kingdom)

Search engines don’t come up with much at all when I search for this term. Gist is, of course, commonplace and to go from ‘looking for the gist’ of content seems clumsy once you get gisting into your head. It works. Except there seems to be another meaning: the activity of learning enough about a subject so as to be able to take on an expert in a (heated?) discussion.

Wordnik gives no definition for gisting but has pulled in a number of examples which seem to suggest that the word is more commonly used in this other sense. For example, “Our daily routine include attending lectures, facing one struggle or the other, fighting for the rights of students, studying, gisting with friends …”

Which sense of the word do you think should win out?

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Laine Redpath Cole


  • “Our daily routine include attending lectures, …” I apologize for the pugnacity but it is not “includes”?

  • Hi Andrea, don’t apologise, you’re absolutely right! Copying and pasting should not replace spell-checking. Noted.

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