masc. proper name, from Old French Guillebert (from Old High German Williberht, literally "a bright will") or Old French Gilebert, from Gisilbert, literally "a bright pledge," from Old High German gisil "pledge," a Celtic loan-word (compare Old Irish giall "pledge") + beorht "bright" (from PIE root *bhereg- "to shine; bright, white."). It was the common name for a male cat (especially in short form Gib) from c. 1400 (see Tom). As a unit of magneto-motive force, it honors English physicist William Gilbert (1544-1603). For the Gilbert Islands, see Kiribati.

updated on October 10, 2017

Definitions of Gilbert from WordNet
gilbert (n.)
a unit of magnetomotive force equal to 0.7958 ampere-turns;
Synonyms: Gb / Gi
Gilbert (n.)
a librettist who was a collaborator with Sir Arthur Sullivan in a famous series of comic operettas (1836-1911);
Synonyms: William Gilbert / William S. Gilbert / William Schwenk Gilbert / Sir William Gilbert
Gilbert (n.)
English court physician noted for his studies of terrestrial magnetism (1540-1603);
Synonyms: William Gilbert
Gilbert (n.)
English navigator who in 1583 established in Newfoundland the first English colony in North America (1539-1583);
Synonyms: Humphrey Gilbert / Sir Humphrey Gilbert
Gilbert (n.)
United States architect who influenced the development of the skyscraper (1859-1934);
Synonyms: Cass Gilbert
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