adj. gid·di·er, gid·di·est
a. Having a reeling, lightheaded sensation; dizzy.
b. Causing or capable of causing dizziness: a giddy climb to the topmast.
2. Frivolous and lighthearted; flighty: was giddy with excitement at the news.
intr. & tr.v. gid·died, gid·dy·ing, gid·dies
To become or make giddy.
[Middle English gidi, crazy, from Old English gidig; see gheu(ə)- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Word History: Though little trace of a divine provenance can be discerned in its modern meaning, giddy is derived from the same ancient Germanic word (*gudam) that has given us the word God. The Germanic word *gudigaz, formed from the word *gudam, meant "possessed by a god." Such possession can be a rather unbalancing experience, and so it is not surprising that the Old English descendant of *gudigaz, gidig, meant "mad, possessed by an evil spirit," or that the Middle English development of gidig, gidi, meant the same thing, as well as "foolish," "mad (used of an animal)," "dizzy," and "uncertain, unstable." Our sense "lighthearted, frivolous" represents the ultimate secularization of giddy.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus