A gyro is either a tool designed to stabilize compasses and other navigation systems — or it’s the name for a delicious sandwich. Just make sure you don’t get these two kinds of gyros confused!

Gyro is frequently used as shorthand for gyroscope, a device that can determine the direction or speed of an attached object. When the word is pronounced YEE-roh, you’ve got an entirely different gryo, a Greek sandwich made with roasted meat and sauce (and sometimes French fries) stuffed into a round pita pocket. Both meanings have the same Greek root, gyros, “a circle.”

Definitions of gyro
  1. noun

    rotating mechanism in the form of a universally mounted spinning wheel that offers resistance to turns in any direction

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    type of:

    rotating mechanism

    a mechanism that rotates

  2. noun

    a Greek sandwich: sliced roast lamb with onion and tomato stuffed into pita bread

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    type of:


    two (or more) slices of bread with a filling between them

Word Family