Etymology
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gist (n.)

1711, "the real point" (of a law case, etc.), from Anglo-French legalese phrases such as cest action gist "this action lies," from Old French gist en "it consists in, it lies in," from gist (Modern French gît), third person singular present indicative of gésir "to lie," from Latin iacet "it lies," from iacēre "to lie, rest," related to iacere "to throw" (from PIE root *ye- "to throw, impel"). Extended sense of "essence" first recorded 1823.

updated on July 27, 2020

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Definitions of gist from WordNet

gist (n.)
the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work;
Synonyms: effect / essence / burden / core
gist (n.)
the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience;
the gist of the prosecutor's argument
Synonyms: kernel / substance / core / center / centre / essence / heart / heart and soul / inwardness / marrow / meat / nub / pith / sum / nitty-gritty
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.