British Library Cataloguing Data
The concise Oxford dictionary of current English.--8th ed.
1. English language--Dictionaries
I. Allen, R. E. (Robert Edward), 1944-423
ISBN 0-19-861243-5 thumb index
ISBN 0-19-861200-1 plain
jab v. & n. --v.tr. (jabbed, jabbing) 1 a poke roughly. b stab.
2 (foll. by into) thrust (a thing) hard or abruptly. --n. 1 an
abrupt blow with one's fist or a pointed implement. 2 colloq. a
hypodermic injection, esp. a vaccination. [orig. Sc. var. of
jabber v. & n. --v. 1 intr. chatter volubly and incoherently. 2 tr.
utter (words) fast and indistinctly. --n. meaningless
jabbering; a gabble. [imit.]
n. (pl. -ies) a piece of nonsensical writing or speech, esp.
for comic effect. [title of a poem in Lewis Carroll's Through
the Looking-Glass (1871)]
jabiru n. 1 a large stork, Jabiru mycteria, of Central and S. America.
2 a black-necked stork, Xenorhyncus asiaticus, of Asia and
Australia. [Tupi-Guarani jabirЈ]
jaborandi n. (pl. jaborandis) 1 any shrub of the genus Pilocarpus, of S.
America. 2 the dried leaflets of this, having diuretic and
diaphoretic properties. [Tupi-Guarani jaburandi]
jabot n. an ornamental frill or ruffle of lace etc. on the front of a
shirt or blouse. [F, orig. = crop of a bird]
jacana n. any of various small tropical wading birds of the family
Jacanidae, with elongated toes and hind-claws which enable them
to walk on floating leaves etc. [Port. ja‡an°. f. Tupi-Guarani
jacaranda n. 1 any tropical American tree of the genus Jacaranda, with
trumpet-shaped blue flowers. 2 any tropical American tree of
the genus Dalbergia, with hard scented wood. [Tupi-Guarani
jacinth n. a reddish-orange variety of zircon used as a gem. [ME
iacynt etc. f. OF iacinte or med.L jacint(h)us f. L hyacinthus
jack(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a device for lifting heavy objects, esp. the
axle of a vehicle off the ground while changing a wheel etc. 2
a court-card with a picture of a man, esp. a soldier, page, or
knave, etc. 3 a ship's flag, esp. one flown from the bow and
showing nationality. 4 a device using a single plug to connect
an electrical circuit. 5 a small white ball in bowls, at which
the players aim. 6 a = JACKSTONE. b (in pl.) a game of
jackstones. 7 (Jack) the familiar form of John esp. typifying
the common man or the male of a species (I'm all right, Jack).
8 the figure of a man striking the bell on a clock. 9 sl. a
detective; a policeman. 10 US sl. money. 11 = LUMBERJACK. 12
= STEEPLEJACK. 13 a device for turning a spit. 14 any of
various marine perchlike fish of the family Carangidae,
including the amberjack. 15 a device for plucking the string of
a harpsichord etc., one being operated by each key. --v.tr.
(usu. foll. by up) 1 raise with or as with a jack (in sense 1).
2 colloq. raise e.g. prices. Ьevery man jack each and every
person. Jack Frost frost personified. jack in (or up) sl.
abandon (an attempt etc.). jack-in-the-box a toy figure that
springs out of a box when it is opened. jack-in-office a
self-important minor official. jack of all trades a person who
can do many different kinds of work. jack-o'-lantern 1 a
will-o'-the wisp. 2 a lantern made esp. from a pumpkin with
holes for facial features. jack plane a medium-sized plane for
use in rough joinery. jack plug a plug for use with a jack (see
sense 4 of n.). Jack tar a sailor. on one's jack (or Jack
Jones) sl. alone; on one's own. [ME Iakke, a pet-name for
John, erron. assoc. with F Jacques James]
jack(2) n. 1 = BLACKJACK(3). 2 hist. a sleeveless padded tunic worn by
foot-soldiers. [ME f. OF jaque, of uncert. orig.]
jackal n. 1 any of various wild doglike mammals of the genus Canis,
esp. C. aureus, found in Africa and S. Asia, usu. hunting or
scavenging for food in packs. 2 colloq. a a person who does
preliminary drudgery for another. b a person who assists
another's immoral behaviour. [Turk. ‡akal f. Pers. sagal]
n. archaic 1 a pert or insolent fellow. 2 a mischievous child.
3 a tame monkey. [earliest as Jack Napes (1450): supposed to
refer to the Duke of Suffolk, whose badge was an ape's clog and
jackaroo n. (also jackeroo) Austral. colloq. a novice on a
sheep-station or cattle-station. [JACK(1) + KANGAROO]
jackass n. 1 a male ass. 2 a stupid person.
jackboot n. 1 a large boot reaching above the knee. 2 this as a symbol
of fascism or military oppression. ЬЬjackbooted adj.
jackdaw n. a small grey-headed crow, Corvus monedula, often frequenting
rooftops and nesting in tall buildings, and noted for its
inquisitiveness (cf. DAW).
jackeroo var. of JACKAROO.
jacket n. & v. --n. 1 a a sleeved short outer garment. b a thing
worn esp. round the torso for protection or support
(life-jacket). 2 a casing or covering, e.g. as insulation round
a boiler. 3 = dust-jacket. 4 the skin of a potato, esp. when
baked whole. 5 an animal's coat. --v.tr. (jacketed,
jacketing) cover with a jacket. Ьjacket potato a baked potato
served with the skin on. [ME f. OF ja(c)quet dimin. of jaque
jackfish n. (pl. same) = PIKE(1).
jackfruit n. 1 an East Indian tree, Artocarpus heterophyllus, bearing
fruit resembling breadfruit. 2 this fruit. [Port. jaca f.
Malayalam chakka + FRUIT]
n. US a pneumatic hammer or drill.
jackknife n. & v. --n. (pl. -knives) 1 a large clasp-knife. 2 a dive
in which the body is first bent at the waist and then
straightened. --v.intr. (-knifed, -knifing) (of an articulated
vehicle) fold against itself in an accidental skidding movement.
jackpot n. a large prize or amount of winnings, esp. accumulated in a
game or lottery etc. Ьhit the jackpot colloq. 1 win a large
prize. 2 have remarkable luck or success. [JACK(1) n. 2 +
POT(1): orig. in a form of poker with two jacks as minimum to
open the pool]
n. US any of various large prairie hares of the genus Lepus
with very long ears and hind legs.
n. 1 a terrier of a breed with short legs. 2 this breed.
jacksnipe n. a small snipe, Lymnocryptes minimus.
jackstaff n. Naut. 1 a staff at the bow of a ship for a jack. 2 a staff
carrying the flag that is to show above the masthead.
jackstone n. 1 a small piece of metal etc. used with others in
tossing-games. Also called JACK(1). 2 (in pl.) a a game with a
ball and jackstones. b the game of jacks.
jackstraw n. a spillikin.
Jacobean adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or relating to the reign of James I of
England. 2 (of furniture) in the style prevalent then, esp. of
the colour of dark oak. --n. a Jacobean person. [mod.L
Jacobaeus f. eccl.L Jacobus James f. Gk Iakobos Jacob]
Jacobin n. 1 a hist. a member of a radical democratic club established
in Paris in 1789 in the old convent of the Jacobins (see sense
2). b any extreme radical. 2 archaic a Dominican friar. 3
(jacobin) a pigeon with reversed feathers on the back of its
neck like a cowl. ЬЬJacobinic adj. Jacobinical adj.
Jacobinism n. [orig. in sense 2 by assoc. with the Rue St
Jacques in Paris: ME f. F f. med.L Jacobinus f. eccl.L Jacobus]
Jacobite n. hist. a supporter of James II of England after his removal
from the throne in 1688, or of the Stuarts. ЬЬJacobitical adj.
Jacobitism n. [L Jacobus James: see JACOBEAN]
n. 1 a plant, Polemonium caeruleum, with corymbs of blue or
white flowers, and leaves suggesting a ladder. 2 a rope-ladder
with wooden rungs. [f. Jacob's dream of a ladder reaching to
heaven, as described in Gen. 28:12]
n. 1 a surveyor's iron-shod rod used instead of a tripod. 2 an
instrument for measuring distances and heights. [f. the staffs
used by Jacob, as described in Gen. 30:37-43]
jaconet n. a cotton cloth like cambric, esp. a dyed waterproof kind for
poulticing etc. [Urdu jagannathi f. Jagannath (now Puri) in
India, its place of origin: see JUGGERNAUT]
Jacquard n. 1 an apparatus with perforated cards, fitted to a loom to
facilitate the weaving of figured fabrics. 2 (in full Jacquard
loom) a loom fitted with this. 3 a fabric or article made with
this, with an intricate variegated pattern. [J. M. Jacquard,
Fr. inventor d. 1834]
n. 1 Med. a the restless tossing of the body in illness. b
the twitching of a limb or muscle. 2 archaic the offence of
falsely claiming to be a person's wife or husband. [med.L
jactitatio false declaration f. L jactitare boast, frequent. of
jactare throw: sense 1 f. earlier jactation]
Jacuzzi n. (pl. Jacuzzis) propr. a large bath with underwater jets of
water to massage the body. [name of the inventor and
jade(1) n. 1 a hard usu. green stone composed of silicates of calcium
and magnesium, or of sodium and aluminium, used for ornaments
and implements. 2 the green colour of jade. [F: le jade for
l'ejade f. Sp. piedra de ijada stone of the flank, i.e. stone
for colic (which it was believed to cure)]
jade(2) n. 1 an inferior or worn-out horse. 2 derog. a disreputable
woman. [ME: orig. unkn.]
jaded adj. tired or worn out; surfeited. ЬЬjadedly adv. jadedness
jadeite n. a green, blue, or white sodium aluminium silicate form of
j'adoube int. Chess a declaration by a player intending to adjust the
placing of a piece without making a move with it. [F, = I
jaeger n. (also yager) US = SKUA. [G J„ger hunter f. jagen to hunt]
Jaffa n. a large oval thick-skinned variety of orange. [Jaffa in
Israel, near where it was first grown]
jag(1) n. & v. --n. a sharp projection of rock etc. --v.tr. (jagged,
jagging) 1 cut or tear unevenly. 2 make indentations in.
ЬЬjagger n. [ME, prob. imit.]
jag(2) n. sl. 1 a drinking bout; a spree. 2 a period of indulgence
in an activity, emotion, etc. [orig. 16th c., = load for one
horse: orig. unkn.]
jagged adj. 1 with an unevenly cut or torn edge. 2 deeply indented;
with sharp points. ЬЬjaggedly adv. jaggedness n.
jaguar n. a large flesh-eating spotted feline, Panthera onca, of
Central and S. America. [Tupi-Guarani jaguara]
n. (pl. jaguarundis) a long-tailed slender feline, Felis
yaguarondi, of Central and S. America. [Tupi-Guarani]
jai alai n. a game like pelota played with large curved wicker baskets.
[Sp. f. Basque jai festival + alai merry]
jail n. & v. (also gaol) --n. 1 a place to which persons are
committed by a court for detention. 2 confinement in a jail.
--v.tr. put in jail. [ME gayole f. OF jaiole, jeole & ONF gaole
f. Rmc dimin. of L cavea CAGE]
jailbird n. (also gaolbird) a prisoner or habitual criminal.
jailbreak n. (also gaolbreak) an escape from jail.
jailer n. (also gaoler) a person in charge of a jail or of the
prisoners in it.
Jain n. & adj. --n. an adherent of a non-Brahminical Indian
religion. --adj. of or relating to this religion. ЬЬJainism n.
Jainist n. [Hindi f. Skr. jainas saint, victor f. jina
jake adj. Austral. & NZ sl. all right; satisfactory. [20th c.:
jalap n. a purgative drug obtained esp. from the tuberous roots of a
Mexican climbing plant, Exogonium purga. [F f. Sp. jalapa f.
Jalapa, Xalapa, city in Mexico, f. Aztec Xalapan sand by the
jalopy n. (pl. -ies) colloq. a dilapidated old motor vehicle. [20th
c.: orig. unkn.]
jalousie n. a blind or shutter made of a row of angled slats to keep out
rain etc. and control the influx of light. [F (as JEALOUSY)]
Jam. abbr. 1 Jamaica. 2 James (New Testament).
jam(1) v. & n. --v.tr. & intr. (jammed, jamming) 1 a tr. (usu. foll.
by into) squeeze or wedge into a space. b intr. become wedged.
2 a tr. cause (machinery or a component) to become wedged or
immovable so that it cannot work. b intr. become jammed in this
way. 3 tr. push or cram together in a compact mass. 4 intr.
(foll. by in, on to) push or crowd (they jammed on to the bus).
5 tr. a block (a passage, road, etc.) by crowding or
obstructing. b (foll. by in) obstruct the exit of (we were
jammed in). 6 tr. (usu. foll. by on) apply (brakes etc.)
forcefully or abruptly. 7 tr. make (a radio transmission)
unintelligible by causing interference. 8 colloq. (in jazz
etc.) extemporize with other musicians. --n. 1 a squeeze or
crush. 2 a crowded mass (traffic jam). 3 colloq. an awkward
situation or predicament. 4 a stoppage (of a machine etc.) due
to jamming. 5 (in full jam session) colloq. improvised playing
by a group of jazz musicians. Ьjam-packed colloq. full to
capacity. ЬЬjammer n. [imit.]
jam(2) n. & v. --n. 1 a conserve of fruit and sugar boiled to a thick
consistency. 2 Brit. colloq. something easy or pleasant (money
for jam). --v.tr. (jammed, jamming) 1 spread jam on. 2 make
(fruit etc.) into jam. Ьjam tomorrow a pleasant thing often
promised but usu. never forthcoming. [perh. = JAM(1)]
jamb n. Archit. a side post or surface of a doorway, window, or
fireplace. [ME f. OF jambe ult. f. LL gamba hoof]
jambalaya n. a dish of rice with shrimps, chicken, etc. [Louisiana F f.
mod. Prov. jambalaia]
jamboree n. 1 a celebration or merrymaking. 2 a large rally of Scouts.
[19th c.: orig. unkn.]
jamjar n. a glass jar for containing jam.
jammy adj. (jammier, jammiest) 1 covered with jam. 2 Brit. colloq.
a lucky. b profitable.
Jan. abbr. January.
jane n. sl. a woman (a plain jane). [the name Jane]
jangle v. & n. --v. 1 intr. & tr. make, or cause (a bell etc.) to
make, a harsh metallic sound. 2 tr. irritate (the nerves etc.)
by discordant sound or speech etc. --n. a harsh metallic sound.
[ME f. OF jangler, of uncert. orig.]
Janglish n. = JAPLISH. [Japanese + English]
janissary var. of JANIZARY.
janitor n. 1 a doorkeeper. 2 a caretaker of a building. ЬЬjanitorial
adj. [L f. janua door]
janizary n. (also janissary) (pl. -ies) 1 hist. a member of the Turkish
infantry forming the Sultan's guard in the 14th-19th c. 2 a
devoted follower or supporter. [ult. f. Turk. yeni‡eri f.
yeni new + ‡eri troops]
jankers n. Mil. sl. punishment for defaulters. [20th c.: orig.
January n. (pl. -ies) the first month of the year. [ME f. AF Jenever
f. L Januarius (mensis) (month) of Janus the guardian god of
doors and beginnings]
Jap n. & adj. colloq. often offens. = JAPANESE. [abbr.]
japan n. & v. --n. 1 a hard usu. black varnish, esp. of a kind
brought orig. from Japan. 2 work in a Japanese style. --v.tr.
(japanned, japanning) 1 varnish with japan. 2 make black and
glossy as with japan. [Japan in E. Asia]
Japanese n. & adj. --n. (pl. same) 1 a a native or national of Japan.
b a person of Japanese descent. 2 the language of Japan.
--adj. of or relating to Japan, its people, or its language.
ЬJapanese cedar = CRYPTOMERIA. Japanese print a colour print
from woodblocks. Japanese quince = JAPONICA.
jape n. & v. --n. a practical joke. --v.intr. play a joke.
ЬЬjapery n. [ME: orig. uncert.]
Japlish n. a blend of Japanese and English, used in Japan. [Japanese +
japonica n. any flowering shrub of the genus Chaenomeles, esp. C.
speciosa, with round white, green, or yellow edible fruits and
bright red flowers. Also called Japanese quince. [mod.L, fem.
of japonicus Japanese]
jar(1) n. 1 a a container of glass, earthenware, plastic, etc., usu.
cylindrical. b the contents of this. 2 Brit. colloq. a glass
of beer. ЬЬjarful n. (pl. -fuls). [F jarre f. Arab. jarra]
jar(2) v. & n. --v. (jarred, jarring) 1 intr. (often foll. by on) (of
sound, words, manner, etc.) sound discordant or grating (on the
nerves etc.). 2 a tr. (foll. by against, on) strike or cause to
strike with vibration or a grating sound. b intr. (of a body
affected) vibrate gratingly. 3 tr. send a shock through (a part
of the body) (the fall jarred his neck). 4 intr. (often foll.
by with) (of an opinion, fact, etc.) be at variance; be in
conflict or in dispute. --n. 1 a jarring sound or sensation.
2 a physical shock or jolt. 3 lack of harmony; disagreement.
[16th c.: prob. imit.]
jar(3) n. Ьon the jar ajar. [late form of obs. char turn: see
n. 1 an ornamental pot or stand for the display of growing
plants. 2 a dish of mixed vegetables. [F]
jargon(1) n. 1 words or expressions used by a particular group or
profession (medical jargon). 2 barbarous or debased language.
3 gibberish. ЬЬjargonic adj. jargonistic adj. jargonize v.tr.
& intr. (also -ise). [ME f. OF: orig. unkn.]
jargon(2) n. (also jargoon) a translucent, colourless, or smoky variety
of zircon. [F f. It. giargone, prob. ult. formed as ZIRCON]
n. an early-ripening variety of pear. [F, dimin. of JARGON(2)]
jarl n. hist. a Norse or Danish chief. [ON, orig. = man of noble
birth, rel. to EARL]
jarrah n. 1 the Australian mahogany gum-tree, Eucalyptus marginata. 2
the durable timber of this. [Aboriginal djarryl]
Jas. abbr. James (also in New Testament).
jasmine n. (also jasmin, jessamin, jessamine) any of various ornamental
shrubs of the genus Jasminum usu. with white or yellow flowers.
Ьjasmine tea a tea perfumed with dried jasmine blossom. [F
jasmin, jessemin f. Arab. yas(a)min f. Pers. yasamin]
jasp‚ adj. like jasper; randomly coloured (esp. of cotton fabric).
[F, past part. of jasper marble f. jaspe JASPER]
jasper n. an opaque variety of quartz, usu. red, yellow, or brown in
colour. [ME f. OF jasp(r)e f. L iaspis f. Gk, of oriental
Jat n. a member of an Indo-Aryan people widely distributed in NW
India. [Hindi jat]
jato n. (pl. -os) Aeron. 1 jet-assisted take-off. 2 an auxiliary
power unit providing extra thrust at take-off. [abbr.]
jaundice n. & v. --n. 1 Med. a condition with yellowing of the skin or
whites of the eyes, often caused by obstruction of the bile duct
or by liver disease. 2 disordered (esp. mental) vision. 3
envy. --v.tr. 1 affect with jaundice. 2 (esp. as jaundiced
adj.) affect (a person) with envy, resentment, or jealousy. [ME
iaunes f. OF jaunice yellowness f. jaune yellow]
jaunt n. & v. --n. a short excursion for enjoyment. --v.intr. take a
jaunt. Ьjaunting car a light two-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle
formerly used in Ireland. [16th c.: orig. unkn.]
jaunty adj. (jauntier, jauntiest) 1 cheerful and self-confident. 2
sprightly. ЬЬjauntily adv. jauntiness n. [earlier jentee f. F
Java Man n. a prehistoric type of man whose remains were found in Java.
[Java in Indonesia]
Javan n. & adj. = JAVANESE.
Javanese n. & adj. --n. (pl. same) 1 a a native of Java in Indonesia.
b a person of Javanese descent. 2 the language of Java. --adj.
of or relating to Java, its people, or its language.
n. a finch, Padda oryzivora.
javelin n. 1 a light spear thrown in a competitive sport or as a
weapon. 2 the athletic event or sport of throwing the javelin.
[F javeline, javelot f. Gallo-Roman gabalottus]
jaw n. & v. --n. 1 a each of the upper and lower bony structures
in vertebrates forming the framework of the mouth and containing
the teeth. b the parts of certain invertebrates used for the
ingestion of food. 2 a (in pl.) the mouth with its bones and
teeth. b the narrow mouth of a valley, channel, etc. c the
gripping parts of a tool or machine. d gripping-power (jaws of
death). 3 colloq. a talkativeness; tedious talk (hold your
jaw). b a sermonizing talk; a lecture. --v. colloq. 1 intr.
speak esp. at tedious length. 2 tr. a persuade by talking. b
admonish or lecture. Ьjaw-breaker colloq. a word that is very
long or hard to pronounce. [ME f. OF joe cheek, jaw, of uncert.
jawbone n. 1 each of the two bones forming the lower jaw in most
mammals. 2 these two combined into one in other mammals.
jay n. 1 a a noisy chattering European bird, Garrulus glandarius,
with vivid pinkish-brown, blue, black, and white plumage. b any
other bird of the subfamily Garrulinae. 2 a person who chatters
impertinently. [ME f. OF f. LL gaius, gaia, perh. f. L
praenomen Gaius: cf. jackdaw, robin]
jaywalk v.intr. cross or walk in the street or road without regard for
traffic. ЬЬjaywalker n.
jazz n. & v. --n. 1 music of US Negro origin characterized by
improvisation, syncopation, and usu. a regular or forceful
rhythm. 2 sl. pretentious talk or behaviour, nonsensical stuff
(all that jazz). --v.intr. play or dance to jazz. Ьjazz up
brighten or enliven. ЬЬjazzer n. [20th c.: orig. uncert.]
jazzman n. (pl. -men) a jazz-player.
jazzy adj. (jazzier, jazziest) 1 of or like jazz. 2 vivid,
unrestrained, showy. ЬЬjazzily adv. jazziness n.
jealous adj. 1 (often foll. by of) fiercely protective (of rights
etc.). 2 afraid, suspicious, or resentful of rivalry in love or
affection. 3 (often foll. by of) envious or resentful (of a
person or a person's advantages etc.). 4 (of God) intolerant of
disloyalty. 5 (of inquiry, supervision, etc.) vigilant.
ЬЬjealously adv. [ME f. OF gelos f. med.L zelosus ZEALOUS]
jealousy n. (pl. -ies) 1 a jealous state or feeling. 2 an instance of
this. [ME f. OF gelosie (as JEALOUS)]
jean n. twilled cotton cloth. [ME, attrib. use of Jene f. OF Janne
f. med.L Janua Genoa]
jeans n.pl. trousers made of jean or (more usually) denim, for
Jeep n. propr. a small sturdy esp. military motor vehicle with
four-wheel drive. [orig. US, f. GP = general purposes, infl.
by 'Eugene the Jeep', an animal in a comic strip]
jeepers int. US sl. expressing surprise etc. [corrupt. of Jesus]
jeer v. & n. --v. 1 intr. (usu. foll. by at) scoff derisively. 2
tr. scoff at; deride. --n. a scoff or taunt. ЬЬjeeringly adv.
[16th c.: orig. unkn.]
Jeez int. sl. a mild expression of surprise, discovery, etc. (cf.
GEE(1)). [abbr. of JESUS]
jehad var. of JIHAD.
Jehovah n. the Hebrew name of God in the Old Testament. ЬJehovah's
Witness a member of a millenarian Christian sect rejecting the
supremacy of the State and religious institutions over personal
conscience, faith, etc. [med.L Iehoua(h) f. Heb. YHVH (with
the vowels of adonai 'my lord' included: see YAHWEH]
Jehovist n. = YAHWIST.
jejune adj. 1 intellectually unsatisfying; shallow. 2 puerile. 3 (of
ideas, writings, etc.) meagre, scanty; dry and uninteresting. 4
(of the land) barren, poor. ЬЬjejunely adv. jejuneness n.
[orig. = fasting, f. L jejunus]
jejunum n. Anat. the part of the small intestine between the duodenum
and ileum. [L, neut. of jejunus fasting]
Jekyll and Hyde
n. a person alternately displaying opposing good and evil
personalities. [R. L. Stevenson's story The Strange Case of Dr
Jekyll and Mr Hyde]
jell v.intr. colloq. 1 a set as a jelly. b (of ideas etc.) take a
definite form. 2 (of two different things) cohere. [back-form.
jellaba var. of DJELLABA.
jellify v.tr. & intr. (-ies, -ied) turn into jelly; make or become like
jelly. ЬЬjellification n.
jelly n. & v. --n. (pl. -ies) 1 a a soft stiffish semi-transparent
preparation of boiled sugar and fruit-juice or milk etc., often
cooled in a mould and eaten as a dessert. b a similar
preparation of fruit-juice etc. for use as a jam or a condiment
(redcurrant jelly). c a similar preparation derived from meat,
bones, etc., and gelatin (marrowbone jelly). 2 any substance of
a similar consistency. 3 Brit. sl. gelignite (cf. GELLY).
--v. (-ies, -ied) 1 intr. & tr. set or cause to set as a jelly,
congeal. 2 tr. set (food) in a jelly (jellied eels). Ьjelly
baby Brit. a jelly-like sweet in the stylized shape of a baby.
jelly bag a bag for straining juice for jelly. jelly bean a
jelly-like sweet in the shape of a bean. ЬЬjelly-like adj. [ME
f. OF gelee frost, jelly, f. Rmc gelata f. L gelare freeze f.
jellyfish n. (pl. usu. same) 1 a marine coelenterate of the class
Scyphozoa having an umbrella-shaped jelly-like body and stinging
tentacles. 2 colloq. a feeble person.
jemmy n. & v. (US jimmi) --n. (pl. -ies or jimmis) a burglar's
short crowbar, usu. made in sections. --v.tr. (-ies, -ied)
force open with a jemmy. [pet-form of the name James]
je ne sais quoi
n. an indefinable something. [F, = I do not know what]
jennet n. a small Spanish horse. [F genet f. Sp. jinete light
horseman f. Arab. zenata Berber tribe famous as horsemen]
jenny n. (pl. -ies) 1 hist. = spinning-jenny. 2 a female donkey or
ass. 3 a locomotive crane. Ьjenny-wren a popular name for a
female wren. [pet-form of the name Janet]
v.tr. (also -ise) endanger; put into jeopardy.
jeopardy n. 1 danger, esp. of severe harm or loss. 2 Law danger
resulting from being on trial for a criminal offence. [ME
iuparti f. OF ieu parti divided (i.e. even) game, f. L jocus
game + partitus past part. of partire divide f. pars partis
Jer. abbr. Jeremiah (Old Testament).
jerbil var. of GERBIL.
jerboa n. any small desert rodent of the family Dipodidae with long
hind legs and the ability to make large jumps. [mod.L f. Arab.
yarbu' flesh of loins, jerboa]
jeremiad n. a doleful complaint or lamentation; a list of woes. [F
j‚r‚miade f. J‚r‚mie Jeremiah f. eccl.L Jeremias, with ref. to
the Lamentations of Jeremiah in the Old Testament]
Jeremiah n. a dismal prophet, a denouncer of the times. [with ref. to
Jeremiah (as JEREMIAD)]
jerk(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a sharp sudden pull, twist, twitch, start, etc.
2 a spasmodic muscular twitch. 3 (in pl.) Brit. colloq.
exercises (physical jerks). 4 sl. a fool; a stupid person.
--v. 1 intr. move with a jerk. 2 tr. pull, thrust, twist,
etc., with a jerk. 3 tr. throw with a suddenly arrested motion.
4 tr. Weight-lifting raise (a weight) from shoulder-level to
above the head. Ьjerk off coarse sl. masturbate. °Usually
considered a taboo use. ЬЬjerker n. [16th c.: perh. imit.]
jerk(2) v.tr. cure (beef) by cutting it in long slices and drying it in
the sun. [Amer. Sp. charquear f. charqui f. Quechua echarqui
jerkin n. 1 a sleeveless jacket. 2 hist. a man's close-fitting
jacket, often of leather. [16th c.: orig. unkn.]
jerky adj. (jerkier, jerkiest) 1 having sudden abrupt movements. 2
spasmodic. ЬЬjerkily adv. jerkiness n.
jeroboam n. a wine bottle of 4-12 times the ordinary size. [Jeroboam
king of Israel (1 Kings 11:28, 14:16)]
Jerry n. (pl. -ies) Brit. sl. 1 a German (esp. in military
contexts). 2 the Germans collectively. [prob. alt. of German]
jerry n. (pl. -ies) Brit. sl. a chamber-pot.
n. a builder of unsubstantial houses with poor-quality
materials. ЬЬjerry-building n. jerry-built adj.
jerrycan n. (also jerrican) a kind of (orig. German) petrol- or
water-can. [JERRY + CAN(2)]
var. of GERRYMANDER.
jersey n. (pl. -eys) 1 a a knitted usu. woollen pullover or similar
garment. b a plain-knitted (orig. woollen) fabric. 2 (Jersey)
a light brown dairy cow from Jersey. [Jersey, largest of the
n. 1 a species of sunflower, Helianthus tuberosus, with edible
underground tubers. 2 this tuber used as a vegetable.
[corrupt. of It. girasole sunflower]
jess n. & v. --n. a short strap of leather, silk, etc., put round
the leg of a hawk in falconry. --v.tr. put jesses on (a hawk
etc.). [ME ges f. OF ges, get ult. f. L jactus a throw f.
jacere jact- to throw]
jessamin (also jessamine) var. of JASMINE.
jest n. & v. --n. 1 a a joke. b fun. 2 a raillery, banter. b an
object of derision (a standing jest). --v.intr. 1 joke; make
jests. 2 fool about; play or act triflingly. Ьin jest in fun.
ЬЬjestful adj. [orig. = exploit, f. OF geste f. L gesta neut.
pl. past part. of gerere do]
jester n. a professional joker or 'fool' at a medieval court etc.,
traditionally wearing a cap and bells and carrying a 'sceptre'.
Jesuit n. a member of the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic order
founded by St Ignatius Loyola and others in 1534. [F j‚suite or
mod.L Jesuita f. Jesus: see JESUS]
adj. 1 of or concerning the Jesuits. 2 often offens.
dissembling or equivocating, in the manner once associated with
Jesuits. ЬЬJesuitically adv.
Jesus int. colloq. an exclamation of surprise, dismay, etc. [name
of the founder of the Christian religion d. c. AD 30]
jet(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a stream of water, steam, gas, flame, etc. shot
out esp. from a small opening. 2 a spout or nozzle for
emitting water etc. in this way. 3 a a jet engine. b an
aircraft powered by one or more jet engines. --v. (jetted,
jetting) 1 intr. spurt out in jets. 2 tr. & intr. colloq. send
or travel by jet plane. Ьjet engine an engine using jet
propulsion for forward thrust, esp. of an aircraft. jet lag
extreme tiredness and other bodily effects felt after a long
flight involving marked differences of local time.
jet-propelled 1 having jet propulsion. 2 (of a person etc.)
very fast. jet propulsion propulsion by the backward ejection
of a high-speed jet of gas etc. jet set colloq. wealthy people
frequently travelling by air, esp. for pleasure. jet-setter
colloq. a member of the jet set. jet stream 1 a narrow current
of very strong winds encircling the globe several miles above
the earth. 2 the stream from a jet engine. [earlier as verb
(in sense 1): F jeter throw ult. f. L jactare frequent. of
jacere jact- throw]
jet(2) n. 1 a a hard black variety of lignite capable of being carved
and highly polished. b (attrib.) made of this. 2 (in full
jet-black) a deep glossy black colour. [ME f. AF geet, OF jaiet
f. L gagates f. Gk gagates f. Gagai in Asia Minor]
jet‚ n. Ballet a spring or leap with one leg forward and the other
stretched backwards. [F, past part. of jeter throw: see JET(1)]
jetsam n. discarded material washed ashore, esp. that thrown overboard
to lighten a ship etc. (cf. FLOTSAM). [contr. of JETTISON]
jettison v. & n. --v.tr. 1 a throw (esp. heavy material) overboard to
lighten a ship, hot-air balloon, etc. b drop (goods) from an
aircraft. 2 abandon; get rid of (something no longer wanted).
--n. the act of jettisoning. [ME f. AF getteson, OF getaison f.
L jactatio -onis f. jactare throw: see JET(1)]
jetton n. a counter with a stamped or engraved design esp. for
insertion like a coin to operate a machine etc. [F jeton f.
jeter throw, add up accounts: see JET(1)]
jetty n. (pl. -ies) 1 a pier or breakwater constructed to protect or
defend a harbour, coast, etc. 2 a landing-pier. [ME f. OF
jetee, fem. past part. of jeter throw: see JET(1)]
n. (pl. jeux d'esprit pronunc. same) a witty or humorous (usu.
literary) trifle. [F, = game of the spirit]
n. = gilded youth (see GILD(1)). [F]
Jew n. & v. --n. 1 a person of Hebrew descent or whose religion is
Judaism. 2 sl. offens. (as a stereotype) a person considered
to be parsimonious or to drive a hard bargain in trading. °The
stereotype, which is now deeply offensive, arose from historical
associations of Jews as moneylenders in medieval England.
--v.tr. (jew) sl. offens. get a financial advantage over.
Ьjew's harp a small lyre-shaped musical instrument held between
the teeth and struck with the finger. [ME f. OF giu f. L
judaeus f. Gk ioudaios ult. f. Heb. yeh–dЊ f. yeh–dѓh Judah]
jewel n. & v. --n. 1 a a precious stone. b this as used for its
hardness as a bearing in watchmaking. 2 a personal ornament
containing a jewel or jewels. 3 a precious person or thing.
--v.tr. (jewelled, jewelling; US jeweled, jeweling) 1 (esp. as
jewelled adj.) adorn or set with jewels. 2 (in watchmaking) set
with jewels. Ьjewel-fish a scarlet and green tropical cichlid
fish, Hemichromis bimaculatus. ЬЬjewelly adj. [ME f. AF juel,
jeuel, OF joel, of uncert. orig.]
jeweller n. (US jeweler) a maker of or dealer in jewels or jewellery.
Ьjeweller's rouge finely ground rouge for polishing. [ME f. AF
jueler, OF juelier (as JEWEL)]
jewellery n. (also jewelry) jewels or other ornamental objects, esp. for
personal adornment, regarded collectively. [ME f. OF juelerie
and f. JEWEL, JEWELLER]
Jewess n. a female Jew.
jewfish n. 1 a grouper, Epinephelus itajara, of N. American, Atlantic,
and Pacific coasts. 2 any of various large Australian fish used
as food, esp. the mulloway.
Jewish adj. 1 of or relating to Jews. 2 of Judaism. ЬЬJewishly adv.
Jewry n. (pl. -ies) 1 Jews collectively. 2 hist. a Jews' quarter in
a town etc. [ME f. AF juerie, OF juierie (as JEW)]
Jezebel n. a shameless or immoral woman. [Jezebel, wife of Ahab in the
Old Testament (1 Kings 16, 19, 21)]
jib(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a triangular staysail from the outer end of the
jib-boom to the top of the foremast or from the bowsprit to the
masthead. 2 the projecting arm of a crane. --v.tr. & intr.
(jibbed, jibbing) to the other; gybe. Ьjib-boom a spar run out
from the end of the bowsprit. [17th c.: orig. unkn.]
jib(2) v.intr. (jibbed, jibbing) 1 a (of an animal, esp. a horse) stop
and refuse to go on; move backwards or sideways instead of going
on. b (of a person) refuse to continue. 2 (foll. by at) show
aversion to (a person or course of action). ЬЬjibber n. [19th
c.: orig. unkn.]
jibba n. (also jibbah) a long coat worn by Muslim men. [Egypt. var.
of Arab. jubba]
jibe(1) var. of GIBE.
jibe(2) US var. of GYBE.
jibe(3) v.intr. with) US colloq. agree; be in accord. [19th c.: orig.
jiff n. (also jiffy, pl. -ies) colloq. a short time; a moment (in
a jiffy; half a jiff). [18th c.: orig. unkn.]
Jiffy bag n. propr. a type of padded envelope for postal use.
jig n. & v. --n. 1 a a lively dance with leaping movements. b the
music for this, usu. in triple time. 2 a device that holds a
piece of work and guides the tools operating on it. --v.
(jigged, jigging) 1 intr. dance a jig. 2 tr. & intr. move
quickly and jerkily up and down. 3 tr. work on or equip with a
jig or jigs. Ьjig about fidget. [16th c.: orig. unkn.]
jigger(1) n. 1 Naut. a a small tackle consisting of a double and single
block with a rope. b a small sail at the stern. c a small
smack having this. 2 sl. a gadget. 3 Golf an iron club with a
narrow face. 4 Billiards colloq. a cue-rest. 5 a a measure of
spirits etc. b a small glass holding this. 6 a person or thing
jigger(2) n. 1 = CHIGOE. 2 US = CHIGGER 2. [corrupt.]
jiggered adj. colloq. (as a mild oath) confounded (I'll be jiggered).
n. Brit. colloq. deceitful or dishonest dealing, trickery.
[cf. Sc. joukery-pawkery f. jouk dodge, skulk]
jiggle v. about etc.) 1 tr. shake lightly; rock jerkily. 2 intr.
fidget. ЬЬjiggly adj. [JIG or JOGGLE(1)]
jigsaw n. 1 a (in full jigsaw puzzle) a puzzle consisting of a picture
on board or wood etc. cut into irregular interlocking pieces to
be reassembled. b a mental puzzle resolvable by assembling
various pieces of information. 2 a machine saw with a fine
blade enabling it to cut curved lines in a sheet of wood, metal,
jihad n. (also jehad) a holy war undertaken by Muslims against
unbelievers. [Arab. jihad]
jill var. of GILL(4).
jilt v. & n. --v.tr. abruptly reject or abandon (a lover etc.).
--n. a person (esp. a woman) who jilts a lover. [17th c.: orig.
Jim Crow n. US 1 the practice of segregating Blacks. 2 offens. a Black.
3 an implement for straightening iron bars or bending rails by
screw pressure. ЬЬJim Crowism n. (in sense 1). [nickname]
jim-jams n.pl. 1 sl. = delirium tremens. 2 colloq. a fit of depression
or nervousness. [fanciful redupl.]
jimmy US var. of JEMMY.
jimson n. (in full jimson weed) US a highly poisonous tall weed, Datura
stramonium, with large trumpet-shaped flowers. [Jamestown in
jingle n. & v. --n. 1 a mixed noise as of bells or light metal
objects being shaken together. 2 a a repetition of the same
sound in words, esp. as an aid to memory or to attract
attention. b a short verse of this kind used in advertising
etc. --v. 1 intr. & tr. make or cause to make a jingling
sound. 2 intr. (of writing) be full of alliterations, rhymes,
etc. ЬЬjingly adj. (jinglier, jingliest). [ME: imit.]
jingo n. (pl. -oes) a supporter of policy favouring war; a
blustering patriot. Ьby jingo! a mild oath. ЬЬjingoism n.
jingoist n. jingoistic adj. [17th c.: orig. a conjuror's word:
polit. sense from use of by jingo in a popular song, then
applied to patriots]
jink v. & n. --v. 1 intr. move elusively; dodge. 2 tr. elude by
dodging. --n. an act of dodging or eluding. [orig. Sc.: prob.
imit. of nimble motion]
jinnee n. (also jinn, djinn) (pl. jinn or djinn) (in Muslim
mythology) an intelligent being lower than the angels, able to
appear in human and animal forms, and having power over people.
[Arab. jinni, pl. jinn: cf. GENIE]
jinx n. & v. colloq. --n. a person or thing that seems to cause bad
luck. --v.tr. (often in passive) subject (a person) to an
unlucky force. [perh. var. of jynx wryneck, charm]
jitter n. & v. colloq. --n. (the jitters) extreme nervousness.
--v.intr. be nervous; act nervously. ЬЬjittery adj.
jitteriness n. [20th c.: orig. unkn.]
jitterbug n. & v. --n. 1 a nervous person. 2 hist. a a fast popular
dance. b a person fond of dancing this. --v.intr. (-bugged,
jiu-jitsu var. of JU-JITSU.
jive n. & v. --n. 1 a jerky lively style of dance esp. popular in
the 1950s. 2 music for this. --v.intr. 1 dance the jive. 2
play jive music. ЬЬjiver n. [20th c.: orig. uncert.]
jizz n. the characteristic impression given by an animal or plant.
[20th c.: orig. unkn.]
jo n. (pl. joes) Sc. a sweetheart or beloved. [var. of JOY]
job(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a piece of work, esp. one done for hire or
profit. 2 a paid position of employment. 3 colloq. anything
one has to do. 4 colloq. a difficult task (had a job to find
them). 5 a product of work, esp. if well done. 6 Computing an
item of work regarded separately. 7 sl. a crime, esp. a
robbery. 8 a transaction in which private advantage prevails
over duty or public interest. 9 a state of affairs or set of
circumstances (is a bad job). --v. (jobbed, jobbing) 1 intr.
do jobs; do piece-work. 2 a intr. deal in stocks. b tr. buy
and sell (stocks or goods) as a middleman. 3 a intr. turn a
position of trust to private advantage. b tr. deal corruptly
with (a matter). 4 tr. US sl. swindle. Ьjob-control language
Computing a language enabling the user to determine the tasks to
be undertaken by the operating system. job-hunt colloq. seek
employment. job lot a miscellaneous group of articles, esp.
bought together. jobs for the boys colloq. profitable
situations etc. to reward one's supporters. job-sharing an
arrangement by which a full-time job is done jointly by several
part-time employees who share the remuneration. just the job
colloq. exactly what is wanted. make a job (or good job) of do
thoroughly or successfully. on the job colloq. 1 at work; in
the course of doing a piece of work. 2 engaged in sexual
intercourse. out of a job unemployed. [16th c.: orig. unkn.]
job(2) v. & n. --v. (jobbed, jobbing) 1 tr. prod; stab slightly. 2
intr. (foll. by at) thrust. --n. a prod or thrust; a jerk at a
horse's bit. [ME, app. imit.: cf. JAB]
jobber n. 1 Brit. a principal or wholesaler dealing on the Stock
Exchange. °Up to Oct. 1986 permitted to deal only with brokers,
not directly with the public. From Oct. 1986 the name has ceased
to be in official use (see BROKER 2). 2 US a a wholesaler. b
derog. a broker (see BROKER 2). 3 a person who jobs. [JOB(1)]
jobbery n. corrupt dealing.
jobbing adj. working on separate or occasional jobs (esp. of a
computer, gardener, or printer).
jobcentre n. Brit. any of several government offices displaying
information about available jobs.
jobless adj. without a job; unemployed. ЬЬjoblessness n.
n. a person who under the guise of comforting aggravates
distress. [the patriarch Job in the Old Testament (Job 16:2)]
jobsheet n. a sheet for recording details of jobs done.
n.pl. the seeds of a grass, Coix lacryma-jobi, used as beads.
[the patriarch Job in the Old Testament]
jobwork n. work done and paid for by the job.
Jock n. sl. a Scotsman. [Sc. form of the name Jack (see JACK(1))]
jock n. colloq. a jockey. [abbr.]
jockey n. & v. --n. (pl. -eys) --v. (-eys, -eyed) 1 tr. a trick or
cheat (a person). b outwit. 2 tr. (foll. by away, out, in,
etc.) draw (a person) by trickery. 3 intr. cheat. Ьjockey cap
a cap with a long peak, as worn by jockeys. jockey for position
try to gain an advantageous position esp. by skilful manoeuvring
or unfair action. ЬЬjockeydom n. jockeyship n. [dimin. of
jockstrap n. a support or protection for the male genitals, worn esp. by
sportsmen. [sl. jock genitals + STRAP]
jocose adj. 1 playful in style. 2 fond of joking, jocular.
ЬЬjocosely adv. jocoseness n. jocosity n. (pl. -ies). [L
jocosus f. jocus jest]
jocular adj. 1 merry; fond of joking. 2 of the nature of a joke;
humorous. ЬЬjocularity n. (pl. -ies). jocularly adv. [L
jocularis f. joculus dimin. of jocus jest]
jocund adj. literary merry, cheerful, sprightly. ЬЬjocundity n. (pl.
-ies). jocundly adv. [ME f. OF f. L jocundus, jucundus f.
jodhpurs n.pl. long breeches for riding etc., close-fitting from the
knee to the ankle. [Jodhpur in India]
n. Brit. colloq. a hypothetical average man.
Joe Blow n. US colloq. = JOE BLOGGS.
joey n. (pl. -eys) Austral. 1 a young kangaroo. 2 a young animal.
jog v. & n. --v. (jogged, jogging) 1 intr. run at a slow pace,
esp. as physical exercise. 2 intr. (of a horse) move at a
jogtrot. 3 intr. (often foll. by on, along) proceed
laboriously; trudge. 4 intr. go on one's way. 5 intr. proceed;
get through the time (we must jog on somehow). 6 intr. move up
and down with an unsteady motion. 7 tr. nudge (a person), esp.
to arouse attention. 8 tr. shake with a push or jerk. 9 tr.
stimulate (a person's or one's own memory). --n. 1 a shake,
push, or nudge. 2 a slow walk or trot. [ME: app. imit.]
jogger n. a person who jogs, esp. one who runs for physical exercise.
joggle(1) v. & n. --v.tr. & intr. shake or move by or as if by repeated
jerks. --n. 1 a slight shake. 2 the act or action of
joggling. [frequent. of JOG]
joggle(2) n. & v. --n. 1 a joint of two pieces of stone or timber,
contrived to prevent their sliding on one another. 2 a notch in
one of the two pieces, a projection in the other, or a small
piece let in between the two, for this purpose. --v.tr. join
with a joggle. [perh. f. jog = JAG(1)]
jogtrot n. 1 a slow regular trot. 2 a monotonous progression.
john n. US sl. a lavatory. [the name John]
John Bull n. a personification of England or the typical Englishman.
[the name of a character repr. the English nation in J.
Arbuthnot's satire Law is a Bottomless Pit (1712)]
John Dory n. (pl. -ies) a European marine fish, Zeus faber, with a
laterally flattened body and a black spot on each side.
johnny n. (pl. -ies) Brit. colloq. a fellow; a man.
Ьjohnny-come-lately colloq. a recently arrived person.
[familiar form of the name John]
adj. 1 of or relating to Samuel Johnson, English man of letters
and lexicographer (d. 1784). 2 typical of his style of writing.
joie de vivre
n. a feeling of healthy and exuberant enjoyment of life. [F, =
joy of living]
join v. & n. --v. 1 tr. (often foll. by to, together) put together;
fasten, unite (one thing or person to another or several
together). 2 tr. connect (points) by a line etc. 3 tr. become
a member of (an association, society, organization, etc.). 4
tr. take one's place with or in (a company, group, procession,
etc.). 5 tr. a come into the company of (a person). b (foll.
by in) take part with (others) in an activity etc. (joined me in
condemnation of the outrage). c (foll. by for) share the
company of for a specified occasion (may I join you for lunch?).
6 intr. (often foll. by with, to) come together; be united. 7
intr. (often foll. by in) take part with others in an activity
etc. 8 tr. be or become connected or continuous with (the Inn
joins the Danube at Passau). --n. a point, line, or surface at
which two or more things are joined. Ьjoin battle begin
fighting. join forces combine efforts. join hands 1 a clasp
each other's hands. b clasp one's hands together. 2 combine in
an action or enterprise. join up 1 enlist for military service.
2 (often foll. by with) unite, connect. ЬЬjoinable adj. [ME f.
OF joindre (stem joign-) f. L jungere junct- join: cf. YOKE]
joinder n. Law the act of bringing together. [AF f. OF joindre to
joiner n. 1 a person who makes furniture and light woodwork. 2
colloq. a person who readily joins societies etc. ЬЬjoinery n.
(in sense 1). [ME f. AF joignour, OF joigneor (as JOIN)]
joint n., adj., & v. --n. 1 a a place at which two things are joined
together. b a point at which, or a contrivance by which, two
parts of an artificial structure are joined. 2 a structure in
an animal body by which two bones are fitted together. 3 a any
of the parts into which an animal carcass is divided for food.
b any of the parts of which a body is made up. 4 sl. a place of
meeting for drinking etc. 5 sl. a marijuana cigarette. 6 the
part of a stem from which a leaf or branch grows. 7 a piece of
flexible material forming the hinge of a book-cover. 8 Geol. a
fissure in a mass of rock. --adj. 1 held or done by, or
belonging to, two or more persons etc. in conjunction (a joint
mortgage; joint action). 2 sharing with another in some action,
state, etc. (joint author; joint favourite). --v.tr. 1 connect
by joints. 2 divide (a body or member) at a joint or into
joints. 3 fill up the joints of (masonry etc.) with mortar
etc.; trim the surface of (a mortar joint). 4 prepare (a board
etc.) for being joined to another by planing its edge. Ьjoint
account a bank account held by more than one person, each of
whom has the right to deposit and withdraw funds. joint and
several (of a bond etc.) signed by more than one person, of whom
each is liable for the whole sum. joint stock capital held
jointly; a common fund. joint-stock company one formed on the
basis of a joint stock. out of joint 1 (of a bone) dislocated.
2 out of order. ЬЬjointless adj. jointly adv. [ME f. OF, past
part. of joindre JOIN]
jointer n. 1 a a plane for jointing. b a tool for jointing or pointing
masonry. 2 a worker employed in jointing wires, pipes, etc.
jointress n. a widow who holds a jointure. [obs. jointer joint
jointure n. & v. --n. an estate settled on a wife for the period during
which she survives her husband. --v.tr. provide (a wife) with a
jointure. [ME f. OF f. L junctura (as JOIN)]
joist n. each of a series of parallel supporting beams of timber,
steel, etc., used in floors, ceilings, etc. ЬЬjoisted adj. [ME
f. OF giste ult. f. L jacere lie]
jojoba n. a plant, Simmondsia chinensis, with seeds yielding an oily
extract used in cosmetics etc. [Mex. Sp.]
joke n. & v. --n. 1 a a thing said or done to excite laughter. b a
witticism or jest. 2 a ridiculous thing, person, or
circumstance. --v. 1 intr. make jokes. 2 tr. poke fun at;
banter. Ьno joke colloq. a serious matter. ЬЬjokingly adv.
joky adj. (also jokey). jokily adv. jokiness n. [17th c.
(joque), orig. sl.: perh. f. L jocus jest]
joker n. 1 a person who jokes. 2 sl. a fellow; a man. 3 a
playing-card usu. with a figure of a jester, used in some games
esp. as a wild card. 4 US a clause unobtrusively inserted in a
bill or document and affecting its operation in a way not
immediately apparent. 5 an unexpected factor or resource. Ьthe
joker in the pack an unpredictable factor or participant.
n. (pl. jolies laides pronunc. same) = BELLE LAIDE. [F f.
jolie pretty + laide ugly]
jollify v.tr. & intr. (-ies, -ied) make or be merry, esp. in drinking.
jollity n. (pl. -ies) 1 merrymaking; festiveness. 2 (in pl.)
festivities. [ME f. OF jolivet‚ (as JOLLY(1))]
jolly(1) adj., adv., v., & n. --adj. (jollier, jolliest) 1 cheerful and
good-humoured; merry. 2 festive, jovial. 3 slightly drunk. 4
colloq. (of a person or thing) very pleasant, delightful (often
iron.: a jolly shame). --adv. colloq. very (they were jolly
unlucky). --v.tr. (-ies, -ied) 1 (usu. foll. by along) colloq.
coax or humour (a person) in a friendly way. 2 chaff, banter.
--n. (pl. -ies) colloq. a party or celebration. ЬJolly Roger
a pirates' black flag, usu. with the skull and crossbones.
ЬЬjollily adv. jolliness n. [ME f. OF jolif gay, pretty, perh.
f. ON jўl YULE]
jolly(2) n. (pl. -ies) jolly boat) a clinker-built ship's boat smaller
than a cutter. [18th c.: orig. unkn.: perh. rel. to YAWL]
jolt v. & n. --v. 1 tr. disturb or shake from the normal position
(esp. in a moving vehicle) with a jerk. 2 tr. give a mental
shock to; perturb. 3 intr. (of a vehicle) move along with
jerks, as on a rough road. --n. 1 such a jerk. 2 a surprise
or shock. ЬЬjolty adj. (joltier, joltiest). [16th c.: orig.
Jon. abbr. 1 Jonah (Old Testament). 2 Jonathan.
Jonah n. a person who seems to bring bad luck. [Jonah in the Old
jongleur n. hist. an itinerant minstrel. [F, var. of jougleur JUGGLER]
jonquil n. a bulbous plant, Narcissus jonquilla, with clusters of small
fragrant yellow flowers. [mod.L jonquilla or F jonquille f. Sp.
junquillo dimin. of junco: see JUNCO]
Jordanian adj. & n. --adj. of or relating to the kingdom of Jordan in the
Middle East. --n. 1 a native or national of Jordan. 2 a
person of Jordanian descent. [Jordan, river flowing into the
jorum n. 1 a large drinking-bowl. 2 its contents, esp. punch.
[perh. f. Joram (2 Sam. 8:10)]
Jos. abbr. Joseph.
Josh. abbr. Joshua (Old Testament).
josh n. & v. sl. --n. a good-natured or teasing joke. --v. 1 tr.
tease or banter. 2 intr. indulge in ridicule. ЬЬjosher n.
[19th c.: orig. unkn.]
joss n. a Chinese idol. Ьjoss-house a Chinese temple. joss-stick a
stick of fragrant tinder mixed with clay, burnt as incense.
[perh. ult. f. Port. deos f. L deus god]
josser n. Brit. sl. 1 a fool. 2 a fellow. [JOSS + -ER(1): cf.
Austral. sense 'clergyman']
jostle v. & n. --v. 1 tr. push against; elbow. 2 tr. (often foll. by
away, from, etc.) push (a person) abruptly or roughly. 3 intr.
(foll. by against) knock or push, esp. in a crowd. 4 intr.
(foll. by with) struggle; have a rough exchange. --n. 1 the
act or an instance of jostling. 2 a collision. [ME: earlier
justle f. JOUST + -LE(4)]
jot v. & n. --v.tr. (jotted, jotting) down) write briefly or
hastily. --n. (usu. with neg. expressed or implied) a very
small amount (not one jot). [earlier as noun: L f. Gk iota: see
jotter n. a small pad or notebook for making notes etc.
jotting n. pl.) a note; something jotted down.
joule n. the SI unit of work or energy equal to the work done by a
force of one newton when its point of application moves one
metre in the direction of action of the force, equivalent to a
watt-second. °Symb.: J. [J. P. Joule, Engl. physicist d.
journal n. 1 a newspaper or periodical. 2 a daily record of events. 3
Naut. a logbook. 4 a book in which business transactions are
entered, with a statement of the accounts to which each is to be
debited and credited. 5 the part of a shaft or axle that rests
on bearings. 6 (the Journals) Parl. a record of daily
proceedings. [ME f. OF jurnal f. LL diurnalis DIURNAL]
n. a hackneyed style of language characteristic of some
n. the business or practice of writing and producing
n. a person employed to write for or edit a newspaper or
journal. ЬЬjournalistic adj. journalistically adv.
v.tr. (also -ise) record in a private journal.
journey n. & v. --n. (pl. -eys) 1 an act of going from one place to
another, esp. at a long distance. 2 the distance travelled in a
specified time (a day's journey). 3 the travelling of a vehicle
along a route at a stated time. --v.intr. (-eys, -eyed)
ЬЬjourneyer n. [ME f. OF jornee day, day's work or travel, ult.
f. L diurnus daily]
n. (pl. -men) 1 a qualified mechanic or artisan who works for
another. 2 derog. a a reliable but not outstanding worker. b
a mere hireling. [JOURNEY in obs. sense 'day's work' + MAN]
joust n. & v. hist. --n. a combat between two knights on horseback
with lances. --v.intr. engage in a joust. ЬЬjouster n. [ME f.
OF juster bring together ult. f. L juxta near]
Jove n. (in Roman mythology) Jupiter. Ьby Jove! an exclamation of
surprise or approval. [ME f. L Jovis genit. of OL Jovis used as
genit. of JUPITER]
jovial adj. 1 merry. 2 convivial. 3 hearty and good-humoured.
ЬЬjoviality n. jovially adv. [F f. LL jovialis of Jupiter (as
JOVE), with ref. to the supposed influence of the planet Jupiter
on those born under it]
Jovian adj. 1 (in Roman mythology) of or like Jupiter. 2 of the
jowar n. = DURRA. [Hindi jawar]
jowl(1) n. 1 the jaw or jawbone. 2 the cheek (cheek by jowl).
ЬЬ-jowled adj. (in comb.). [ME chavel jaw f. OE ceafl]
jowl(2) n. 1 the external loose skin on the throat or neck when
prominent. 2 the dewlap of oxen, wattle of a bird, etc.
ЬЬjowly adj. [ME cholle neck f. OE ceole]
joy n. & v. --n. 1 (often foll. by at, in) a vivid emotion of
pleasure; extreme gladness. 2 a thing that causes joy. 3 Brit.
colloq. satisfaction, success (got no joy). --v. esp. poet. 1
intr. rejoice. 2 tr. gladden. Ьjoy-bells bells rung on festive
occasions. wish a person joy of iron. be gladly rid of (what
that person has to deal with). ЬЬjoyless adj. joylessly adv.
[ME f. OF joie ult. f. L gaudium f. gaudere rejoice]
Joycean adj. & n. --adj. of or characteristic of James Joyce, Irish
poet and novelist (d. 1941) or his writings. --n. a specialist
in or admirer of Joyce's works.
joyful adj. full of, showing, or causing joy. ЬЬjoyfully adv.
joyous adj. (of an occasion, circumstance, etc.) characterized by
pleasure or joy; joyful. ЬЬjoyously adv. joyousness n.
joyride n. & v. colloq. --n. a ride for pleasure in a motor car, esp.
without the owner's permission. --v.intr. (past -rode; past
part. -ridden) ЬЬjoyrider n.
joystick n. 1 colloq. the control column of an aircraft. 2 a lever that
can be moved in several directions to control the movement of an
image on a VDU screen.
jubilant adj. exultant, rejoicing, joyful. ЬЬjubilance n. jubilantly
adv. [L jubilare jubilant- shout for joy]
jubilate v.intr. exult; be joyful. ЬЬjubilation n. [L jubilare (as
jubilee n. 1 a time or season of rejoicing. 2 an anniversary, esp. the
25th or 50th. 3 Jewish Hist. a year of emancipation and
restoration, kept every 50 years. 4 RC Ch. a period of
remission from the penal consequences of sin, granted under
certain conditions for a year usu. at intervals of 25 years. 5
exultant joy. [ME f. OF jubil‚ f. LL jubilaeus (annus) (year)
of jubilee ult. f. Heb. yobel, orig. = ram, ram's-horn trumpet]
Judaic adj. of or characteristic of the Jews or Judaism. [L Judaicus
f. Gk Iouda‹kos f. Ioudaios JEW]
Judaism n. 1 the religion of the Jews, with a belief in one God and a
basis in Mosaic and rabbinical teachings. 2 the Jews
collectively. ЬЬJudaist n. [ME f. LL Judaismus f. Gk
Iouda‹smos (as JUDAIC)]
Judaize v. (also -ise) 1 intr. follow Jewish customs or rites. 2 tr.
a make Jewish. b convert to Judaism. ЬЬJudaization n. [LL
judaizare f. Gk iouda‹zo (as JUDAIC)]
Judas n. 1 a person who betrays a friend. 2 (judas) a peep-hole in a
door. ЬJudas-tree a Mediterranean tree, Cercis siliquastrum,
with purple flowers usu. appearing before the leaves. [Judas
Iscariot who betrayed Christ (Luke 22)]
judder v. & n. Brit. --v.intr. 1 (esp. of a mechanism) vibrate
noisily or violently. 2 (of a singer's voice) oscillate in
intensity. --n. an instance of juddering. [imit.: cf.
Judeo- US var. of JUDAEO-.
Judg. abbr. Judges (Old Testament).
judge n. & v. --n. 1 a public officer appointed to hear and try
causes in a court of justice. 2 a person appointed to decide a
dispute or contest. 3 a a person who decides a question. b a
person regarded in terms of capacity to decide on the merits of
a thing or question (am no judge of that; a good judge of art).
4 Jewish Hist. a leader having temporary authority in Israel in
the period between Joshua and the Kings. --v. 1 tr. a try (a
cause) in a court of justice. b pronounce sentence on (a
person). 2 tr. form an opinion about; estimate, appraise. 3
tr. act as a judge of (a dispute or contest). 4 tr. (often
foll. by to + infin. or that + clause) conclude, consider, or
suppose. 5 intr. a form a judgement. b act as judge. ЬJudge
Advocate General an officer in supreme control of the courts
martial in the armed forces. Judges' Rules Brit. rules
regarding the admissibility of an accused's statements as
evidence. ЬЬjudgelike adj. judgeship n. [ME f. OF juge (n.),
juger (v.) f. L judex judicis f. jus law + -dicus speaking]
judgement n. (also judgment) 1 the critical faculty; discernment (an
error of judgement). 2 good sense. 3 an opinion or estimate
(in my judgement). 4 the sentence of a court of justice; a
decision by a judge. 5 often joc. a misfortune viewed as a
deserved recompense (it is a judgement on you for getting up
late). 6 criticism. Ьagainst one's better judgement contrary
to what one really feels to be advisable. judgement by default
see DEFAULT. Judgement Day the day on which the Last Judgement
is believed to take place. judgement-seat a judge's seat; a
tribunal. the Last Judgement (in some beliefs) the judgement of
mankind expected to take place at the end of the world. [ME f.
OF jugement (as JUDGE)]
adj. (also judgmental) 1 of or concerning or by way of
judgement. 2 condemning, critical. ЬЬjudgementally adv.
n. 1 the administration of justice. 2 a judge's office or term
of office. 3 judges collectively. 4 a court of justice.
[med.L judicatura f. L judicare to judge]
judicial adj. 1 of, done by, or proper to a court of law. 2 having the
function of judgement (a judicial assembly). 3 of or proper to
a judge. 4 expressing a judgement; critical. 5 impartial. 6
regarded as a divine judgement. Ьjudicial factor Sc. an
official receiver. judicial separation the separation of man
and wife by decision of a court. ЬЬjudicially adv. [ME f. L
judicialis f. judicium judgement f. judex JUDGE]
judiciary n. (pl. -ies) the judges of a State collectively. [L
judiciarius (as JUDICIAL)]
judicious adj. 1 sensible, prudent. 2 sound in discernment and
judgement. ЬЬjudiciously adv. judiciousness n. [F judicieux
f. L judicium (as JUDICIAL)]
judo n. a sport of unarmed combat derived from ju-jitsu. ЬЬjudoist
n. [Jap. f. ju gentle + do way]
Judy n. (pl. -ies) 1 see PUNCH(4). 2 (also judy) sl. a woman.
[pet-form of the name Judith]
jug n. & v. --n. 1 a a deep vessel for holding liquids, with a
handle and often with a spout or lip shaped for pouring. b the
contents of this; a jugful. 2 US a large jar with a narrow
mouth. 3 sl. prison. 4 (in pl.) US coarse sl. a woman's
breasts. --v.tr. (jugged, jugging) 1 (usu. as jugged adj.)
stew or boil (a hare or rabbit) in a covered vessel. 2 sl.
imprison. ЬЬjugful n. (pl. -fuls). [perh. f. Jug, pet-form
of the name Joan etc.]
n. the German name for art nouveau. [G f. Jugend youth + Stil
n. 1 esp. Brit. a large heavy motor vehicle, esp. an
articulated lorry. 2 a huge or overwhelming force or object. 3
(Juggernaut) an institution or notion to which persons blindly
sacrifice themselves or others. [Hindi Jagannath f. Skr.
Jagannatha = lord of the world: name of an idol of Krishna in
Hindu mythol., carried in procession on a huge cart under which
devotees are said to have formerly thrown themselves]
juggins n. Brit. sl. a simpleton. [perh. f. proper name Juggins (as
JUG): cf. MUGGINS]
juggle v. & n. --v. 1 a intr. (often foll. by with) perform feats of
dexterity, esp. by tossing objects in the air and catching them,
keeping several in the air at the same time. b tr. perform such
feats with. 2 tr. continue to deal with (several activities) at
once, esp. with ingenuity. 3 intr. (foll. by with) & tr. a
deceive or cheat. b misrepresent (facts). c rearrange
adroitly. --n. 1 a piece of juggling. 2 a fraud. [ME,
back-form. f. JUGGLER or f. OF jogler, jugler f. L joculari
jest f. joculus dimin. of jocus jest]
juggler n. 1 a a person who juggles. b a conjuror. 2 a trickster or
impostor. ЬЬjugglery n. [ME f. OF jouglere -eor f. L joculator
-oris (as JUGGLE)]
Jugoslav var. of YUGOSLAV.
jugular adj. & n. --adj. 1 of the neck or throat. 2 (of fish) having
ventral fins in front of the pectoral fins. --n. = jugular
vein. Ьjugular vein any of several large veins of the neck
which carry blood from the head. [LL jugularis f. L jugulum
collar-bone, throat, dimin. of jugum YOKE]
jugulate v.tr. 1 kill by cutting the throat. 2 arrest the course of (a
disease etc.) by a powerful remedy. [L jugulare f. jugulum (as
juice n. 1 the liquid part of vegetables or fruits. 2 the fluid part
of an animal body or substance, esp. a secretion (gastric
juice). 3 the essence or spirit of anything. 4 colloq. petrol
or electricity as a source of power. ЬЬjuiceless adj. [ME f.
OF jus f. L jus broth, juice]
juicy adj. (juicier, juiciest) 1 full of juice; succulent. 2 colloq.
substantial or interesting; racy, scandalous. 3 colloq.
profitable. ЬЬjuicily adv. juiciness n.
ju-jitsu n. (also jiu-jitsu, ju-jutsu) a Japanese system of unarmed
combat and physical training. [Jap. jujutsu f. ju gentle +
ju-ju n. 1 a charm or fetish of some W. African peoples. 2 a
supernatural power attributed to this. [perh. f. F joujou toy]
jujube n. 1 a any plant of the genus Zizyphus bearing edible acidic
berry-like fruits. b this fruit. 2 a lozenge of gelatin etc.
flavoured with or imitating this. [F jujube or med.L jujuba
ult. f. Gk zizuphon]
ju-jutsu var. of JU-JITSU.
jukebox n. a machine that automatically plays a selected musical
recording when a coin is inserted. [Gullah juke disorderly +
Jul. abbr. July.
julep n. 1 a a sweet drink, esp. as a vehicle for medicine. b a
medicated drink as a mild stimulant etc. 2 US iced and
flavoured spirits and water (mint julep). [ME f. OF f. Arab.
julab f. Pers. gulab f. gul rose + ab water]
Julian adj. of or associated with Julius Caesar. ЬJulian calendar a
calendar introduced by Julius Caesar, in which the year
consisted of 365 days, every fourth year having 366 (cf.
GREGORIAN CALENDAR). [L Julianus f. Julius]
julienne n. & adj. --n. foodstuff, esp. vegetables, cut into short thin
strips. --adj. cut into thin strips. [F f. the name Jules or
n. a small network ornamental cap worn by brides etc. [the
heroine of Shakesp. Romeo & Juliet]
July n. (pl. Julys) the seventh month of the year. [ME f. AF julie
f. L Julius (mensis month), named after Julius Caesar]
jumble v. & n. --v. 1 tr. (often foll. by up) confuse; mix up. 2
intr. move about in disorder. --n. 1 a confused state or heap;
a muddle. 2 Brit. articles collected for a jumble sale.
Ьjumble sale Brit. a sale of miscellaneous usu. second-hand
articles, esp. for charity. ЬЬjumbly adj. [prob. imit.]
jumbo n. & adj. colloq. --n. (pl. -os) 1 a large animal (esp. an
elephant), person, or thing. 2 (in full jumbo jet) a large
airliner with capacity for several hundred passengers. °Usu.
applied specifically to the Boeing 747. --adj. 1 very large of
its kind. 2 extra large (jumbo packet). [19th c. (orig. of a
person): orig. unkn.: popularized as the name of a zoo elephant
sold in 1882]
jumbuck n. Austral. colloq. a sheep. [Aboriginal]
jump v. & n. --v. 1 intr. move off the ground or other surface
(usu. upward, at least initially) by sudden muscular effort in
the legs. 2 intr. (often foll. by up, from, in, out, etc.) move
suddenly or hastily in a specified way (we jumped into the car).
3 intr. give a sudden bodily movement from shock or excitement
etc. 4 intr. undergo a rapid change, esp. an advance in status.
5 intr. (often foll. by about) change or move rapidly from one
idea or subject to another. 6 a intr. rise or increase suddenly
(prices jumped). b tr. cause to do this. 7 tr. a pass over
(an obstacle, barrier, etc.) by jumping. b move or pass over
(an intervening thing) to a point beyond. 8 tr. skip or pass
over (a passage in a book etc.). 9 tr. cause (a thing, or an
animal, esp. a horse) to jump. 10 intr. (foll. by to, at) reach
a conclusion hastily. 11 tr. (of a train) leave (the rails)
owing to a fault. 12 tr. ignore and pass (a red traffic-light
etc.). 13 tr. get on or off (a train etc.) quickly, esp.
illegally or dangerously. 14 tr. pounce on or attack (a person)
unexpectedly. 15 tr. take summary possession of (a claim
allegedly abandoned or forfeit by the former occupant). --n. 1
the act or an instance of jumping. 2 a a sudden bodily movement
caused by shock or excitement. b (the jumps) colloq. extreme
nervousness or anxiety. 3 an abrupt rise in amount, price,
value, status, etc. 4 an obstacle to be jumped, esp. by a
horse. 5 a a sudden transition. b a gap in a series, logical
sequence, etc. Ьget (or have) the jump on colloq. get (or
have) an advantage over (a person) by prompt action. jump at
accept eagerly. jump bail see BAIL(1). jump down a person's
throat colloq. reprimand or contradict a person fiercely.
jumped-up colloq. upstart; presumptuously arrogant. jump the
gun see GUN. jumping-off place (or point etc.) the place or
point of starting. jump-jet a jet aircraft that can take off
and land vertically. jump-lead a cable for conveying current
from the battery of a motor vehicle to boost (or recharge)
another. jump-off a deciding round in a showjumping
competition. jump on colloq. attack or criticize severely and
without warning. jump out of one's skin colloq. be extremely
startled. jump the queue 1 push forward out of one's turn. 2
take unfair precedence over others. jump-rope US a
skipping-rope. jump seat US a folding extra seat in a motor
vehicle. jump ship (of a seaman) desert. jump-start v.tr.
start (a motor vehicle) by pushing it or with jump-leads. --n.
the action of jump-starting. jump suit a one-piece garment for
the whole body, of a kind orig. worn by paratroopers. jump to
it colloq. act promptly and energetically. one jump ahead one
stage further on than a rival etc. on the jump colloq. on the
move; in a hurry. ЬЬjumpable adj. [16th c.: prob. imit.]
jumper(1) n. 1 a knitted pullover. 2 a loose outer jacket of canvas etc.
worn by sailors. 3 US a pinafore dress. [prob. f. (17th-c.,
now dial.) jump short coat perh. f. F jupe f. Arab. jubba]
jumper(2) n. 1 a person or animal that jumps. 2 Electr. a short wire
used to make or break a circuit. 3 a rope made fast to keep a
yard, mast, etc., from jumping. 4 a heavy chisel-ended iron bar
for drilling blast-holes.
n. the seed of a Mexican plant that jumps with the movement of
the larva inside.
n. 1 a small firework producing repeated explosions. 2 a toy
figure of a man, with movable limbs.
jumpy adj. (jumpier, jumpiest) 1 nervous; easily startled. 2 making
sudden movements, esp. of nervous excitement. ЬЬjumpily adv.
Jun. abbr. 1 June. 2 Junior.
junco n. (pl. -os or -oes) any small American finch of the genus
Junco. [Sp. f. L juncus rush plant]
junction n. 1 a point at which two or more things are joined. 2 a place
where two or more railway lines or roads meet, unite, or cross.
3 the act or an instance of joining. 4 Electronics a region of
transition in a semiconductor between regions where conduction
is mainly by electrons and regions where it is mainly by holes.
Ьjunction box a box containing a junction of electric cables
etc. [L junctio (as JOIN)]
juncture n. 1 a critical convergence of events; a critical point of time
(at this juncture). 2 a place where things join. 3 an act of
joining. [ME f. L junctura (as JOIN)]
June n. the sixth month of the year. [ME f. OF juin f. L Junius
var. of Junonius sacred to Juno]
Jungian adj. & n. --adj. of the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (d. 1961)
or his system of analytical psychology. --n. a supporter of
Jung or of his system.
jungle n. 1 a land overgrown with underwood or tangled vegetation,
esp. in the tropics. b an area of such land. 2 a wild tangled
mass. 3 a place of bewildering complexity or confusion, or of a
struggle for survival (blackboard jungle). Ьjungle fever a
severe form of malaria. law of the jungle a state of ruthless
competition. ЬЬjungled adj. jungly adj. [Hindi jangal f. Skr.
jangala desert, forest]
junior adj. & n. --adj. 1 less advanced in age. 2 (foll. by to)
inferior in age, standing, or position. 3 the younger (esp.
appended to a name for distinction from an older person of the
same name). 4 of less or least standing; of the lower or lowest
position (junior partner). 5 Brit. (of a school) having pupils
in a younger age-range, usu. 7 - 11. 6 US of the year before
the final year at university, high school, etc. --n. 1 a
junior person. 2 one's inferior in length of service etc. 3 a
junior student. 4 a barrister who is not a QC. 5 US colloq. a
young male child, esp. in relation to his family. Ьjunior
college US a college offering a two-year course esp. in
preparation for completion at senior college. junior common (or
combination) room Brit. 1 a room for social use by the junior
members of a college. 2 the junior members collectively.
junior lightweight see LIGHTWEIGHT. junior middleweight see
MIDDLEWEIGHT. ЬЬjuniority n. [L, compar. of juvenis young]
juniper n. any evergreen shrub or tree of the genus Juniperus, esp. J.
communis with prickly leaves and dark purple berry-like cones.
Ьoil of juniper oil from juniper cones used in medicine and in
flavouring gin etc. [ME f. L juniperus]
junk(1) n. & v. --n. 1 discarded articles; rubbish. 2 anything
regarded as of little value. 3 sl. a narcotic drug, esp.
heroin. 4 old cables or ropes cut up for oakum etc. 5 Brit. a
lump or chunk. 6 Naut. hard salt meat. 7 a lump of fibrous
tissue in the sperm whale's head, containing spermaceti.
--v.tr. discard as junk. Ьjunk food food with low nutritional
value. junk mail unsolicited advertising matter sent by post.
junk shop a shop selling cheap second-hand goods or antiques.
[ME: orig. unkn.]
junk(2) n. a flat-bottomed sailing vessel used in the China seas, with
a prominent stem and lugsails. [obs. F juncque, Port. junco,
or Du. jonk, f. Jav. djong]
junker n. hist. 1 a young German nobleman. 2 a member of an
exclusive (Prussian) aristocratic party. ЬЬjunkerdom n. [G,
earlier Junkher f. OHG (as YOUNG, HERR)]
junket n. & v. --n. 1 a dish of sweetened and flavoured curds, often
served with fruit or cream. 2 a feast. 3 a pleasure outing. 4
US an official's tour at public expense. --v.intr. (junketed,
junketing) ЬЬjunketing n. [ME jonket f. OF jonquette
rush-basket (used to carry junket) f. jonc rush f. L juncus]
junkie n. sl. a drug addict.
Junr. abbr. Junior.
junta n. 1 a a political or military clique or faction taking power
after a revolution or coup d'‚tat. b a secretive group; a
cabal. 2 a deliberative or administrative council in Spain or
Portugal. [Sp. & Port. f. L juncta, fem. past part. (as JOIN)]
Jupiter n. the largest planet of the solar system, orbiting about the
sun between Mars and Saturn. [ME f. L Jupiter king of the gods
f. OL Jovis pater]
jural adj. 1 of law. 2 of rights and obligations. [L jus juris law,
Jurassic adj. & n. Geol. --adj. of or relating to the second period of
the Mesozoic era with evidence of many large dinosaurs, the
first birds (including Archaeopteryx), and mammals. °Cf.
Appendix II. --n. this era or system. [F jurassique f. Jura
(Mountains): cf. Triassic]
jurat(1) n. Brit. 1 a municipal officer (esp. of the Cinque Ports)
holding a position similar to that of an alderman. 2 an
honorary judge or magistrate in the Channel Islands. [ME f.
med.L juratus past part. of L jurare swear]
jurat(2) n. a statement of the circumstances in which an affidavit was
made. [L juratum neut. past part. (as JURAT(1))]
juridical n. 1 of judicial proceedings. 2 relating to the law.
ЬЬjuridically adv. [L juridicus f. jus juris law + -dicus
saying f. dicere say]
n. a person learned in law; a jurist. [L jurisconsultus f.
jus juris law + consultus skilled: see CONSULT]
n. 1 (often foll. by over, of) the administration of justice.
2 a legal or other authority. b the extent of this; the
territory it extends over. ЬЬjurisdictional adj. [ME
jurisdiccioun f. OF jurediction, juridiction, L jurisdictio f.
jus juris law + dictio DICTION]
n. 1 the science or philosophy of law. 2 skill in law.
ЬЬjurisprudent adj. & n. jurisprudential adj. [LL
jurisprudentia f. L jus juris law + prudentia knowledge: see
jurist n. 1 an expert in law. 2 a legal writer. 3 US a lawyer.
ЬЬjuristic adj. juristical adj. [F juriste or med.L jurista f.
jus juris law]
juror n. 1 a member of a jury. 2 a person who takes an oath (cf.
NONJUROR). [ME f. AF jurour, OF jureor f. L jurator -oris f.
jurare jurat- swear]
jury n. (pl. -ies) 1 a body of usu. twelve persons sworn to render
a verdict on the basis of evidence submitted to them in a court
of justice. 2 a body of persons selected to award prizes in a
competition. Ьjury-box the enclosure for the jury in a
lawcourt. [ME f. AF & OF juree oath, inquiry, f. jurata fem.
past part. of L jurare swear]
juryman n. (pl. -men) a member of a jury.
n. Naut. having temporary makeshift rigging. [perh. ult. f.
OF ajurie aid]
jurywoman n. (pl. -women) a woman member of a jury.
jussive adj. Gram. expressing a command. [L jubere juss- command]
just adj. & adv. --adj. 1 acting or done in accordance with what is
morally right or fair. 2 (of treatment etc.) deserved (a just
reward). 3 (of feelings, opinions, etc.) well-grounded (just
resentment). 4 right in amount etc.; proper. --adv. 1 exactly
(just what I need). 2 exactly or nearly at this or that moment;
a little time ago (I have just seen them). 3 colloq. simply,
merely (we were just good friends; it just doesn't make sense).
4 barely; no more than (I just managed it; just a minute). 5
colloq. positively (it is just splendid). 6 quite (not just
yet; it is just as well that I checked). 7 colloq. really,
indeed (won't I just tell him!). 8 in questions, seeking
precise information (just how did you manage?). Ьjust about
colloq. almost exactly; almost completely. just in case as a
precaution. just now 1 at this moment. 2 a little time ago.
just so 1 exactly arranged (they like everything just so). 2 it
is exactly as you say. ЬЬjustly adv. justness n. [ME f. OF
juste f. L justus f. jus right]
justice n. 1 just conduct. 2 fairness. 3 the exercise of authority in
the maintenance of right. 4 judicial proceedings (was duly
brought to justice; the Court of Justice). 5 a a magistrate. b
a judge, esp. (in England) of the Supreme Court of Judicature.
Ьdo justice to treat fairly or appropriately; show due
appreciation of. do oneself justice perform in a manner worthy
of one's abilities. in justice to out of fairness to. Justice
of the Peace an unpaid lay magistrate appointed to preserve the
peace in a county, town, etc., hear minor cases, grant licenses,
etc. Mr (or Mrs) Justice Brit. a form of address or reference
to a Supreme Court Judge. with justice reasonably.
ЬЬjusticeship n. (in sense 5). [ME f. OF f. L justitia (as
adj. liable to legal consideration. [OF f. justicier bring to
trial f. med.L justitiare (as JUSTICE)]
n. & adj. --n. (pl. -ies) --adj. of the administration of
justice. [med.L justitiarius f. L justitia: see JUSTICE]
adj. that can be justified or defended. Ьjustifiable homicide
killing regarded as lawful and without criminal guilt, esp. the
execution of a death sentence. ЬЬjustifiability n.
justifiableness n. justifiably adv. [F f. justifier: see
justify v.tr. (-ies, -ied) 1 show the justice or rightness of (a
person, act, etc.). 2 demonstrate the correctness of (an
assertion etc.). 3 adduce adequate grounds for (conduct, a
claim, etc.). 4 a (esp. in passive) (of circumstances) be such
as to justify. b vindicate. 5 (as justified adj.) just, right
(am justified in assuming). 6 Theol. declare (a person)
righteous. 7 Printing adjust (a line of type) to fill a space
evenly. ЬЬjustification n. justificatory adj. justifier n.
[ME f. F justifier f. LL justificare do justice to f. L justus
jut v. & n. --v.intr. (jutted, jutting) out, forth) protrude,
project. --n. a projection; a protruding point. [var. of
Jute n. a member of a Low-German tribe that settled in Britain in
the 5th-6th c. ЬЬJutish adj. [repr. med.L Jutae, Juti, in OE
Eotas, Iotas = Icel. Iўtar people of Jutland in Denmark]
jute n. 1 a rough fibre made from the bark of E. Indian plants of
the genus Corchorus, used for making twine and rope, and woven
into sacking, mats, etc. 2 either of two plants Corchorus
capsularis or C. olitorius yielding this fibre. [Bengali jhoto
f. Skr. juta = jata braid of hair]
n. 1 youth. 2 the transition from infancy to youth.
ЬЬjuvenescent adj. [L juvenescere reach the age of youth f.
juvenile adj. & n. --adj. 1 a young, youthful. b of or for young
persons. 2 suited to or characteristic of youth. 3 often
derog. immature (behaving in a very juvenile way). --n. 1 a
young person. 2 Commerce a book intended for young people. 3
an actor playing the part of a youthful person. Ьjuvenile court
a court for the trial of children under 17. juvenile
delinquency offences committed by a person or persons below the
age of legal responsibility. juvenile delinquent such an
offender. ЬЬjuvenilely adv. juvenility n. [L juvenilis f.
juvenilia n.pl. works produced by an author or artist in youth. [L,
neut. pl. of juvenilis (as JUVENILE)]
juxtapose v.tr. 1 place (things) side by side. 2 (foll. by to, with)
place (a thing) beside another. ЬЬjuxtaposition n.
juxtapositional adj. [F juxtaposer f. L juxta next: see