1 of 2


variants or jibe
gibed or jibed; gibing or jibing; gibes or jibes

intransitive verb

: to utter taunting words

transitive verb

: to deride or tease with taunting words
boxers gibing each other before a fight
giber noun
or jiber
plural gibers or jibers


2 of 2


variants or jibe
plural gibes or jibes
: a taunting remark
… Rock made a gibe at the 50-year-old Pinkett Smith's shaved head …Armani Syed
The billionaire … has romped across the service hurling gibes and memes …Mike Isaac and Lauren Hirsch
Many of those struggling economically say Macron is out of touch, and a common gibe labels him the "president of the rich."Monique El-Faizy
To be sure, his jibes at CNN and other news outlets were an important part of his political persona from the start.John Cassidy

Did you know?

Confused about jibe and gibe? The distinction actually isn't as clear-cut as some commentators would like it to be. Jibe is used both for the verb meaning "to be in accord" or "agree" (as in "the results do not jibe with those from other studies") and for the nautical verb and noun referring to the act of shifting a sail from one side to the other ("jibe the mainsail," "a risky jibe in heavy seas"). Gibe is used as a verb and noun for derisive teasing or taunting. But jibe is also a recognized variant of gibe, so it too has teasing or taunting uses. Gibe has been used occasionally as a variant of jibe, but the use is not common enough to warrant dictionary entry, and is widely considered an error.

Choose the Right Synonym for gibe

scoff, jeer, gibe, fleer, sneer, flout mean to show one's contempt in derision or mockery.

scoff stresses insolence, disrespect, or incredulity as motivating the derision.

scoffed at their concerns

jeer suggests a coarser more undiscriminating derision.

the crowd jeered at the prisoners

gibe implies taunting either good-naturedly or in sarcastic derision.

hooted and gibed at the umpire

fleer suggests grinning or grimacing derisively.

the saucy jackanapes fleered at my credulity

sneer stresses insulting by contemptuous facial expression, phrasing, or tone of voice.

sneered at anything romantic

flout stresses contempt shown by refusal to heed.

flouted the conventions of polite society

Examples of gibe in a Sentence

Verb teammates gibing each other when one fouls up an important play
Recent Examples on the Web
Thompson was dressed less formally, and gibed at Weinberger about his attire. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 4 Dec. 2023 But the Space Force decision was announced six months ago, and suggesting it’s at fault for the New Glenn delay doesn’t gibe with Blue’s previous statements. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, 26 Feb. 2021
Petty gibes escalate to bad feelings as the clock ticks and the batteries drain. IEEE Spectrum, 31 Jan. 2011 Since the beginning of the year, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson and Washington County executive Josh Schoemann have tossed gibes back and forth after Schoemann invited city residents shop in his district to avoid the new taxes. Houston Keene, Fox News, 5 Jan. 2024 That aesthetic gibes well with the film’s coming-of-age narrative, in which a young boy turns into a man while learning a few life lessons in the process. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 The British Empire represented a moment in international history that was passing at the time of Acheson’s 1962 gibe. Lawrence D. Freedman, Foreign Affairs, 13 Apr. 2020 Judi Dench, in a 2004 crossing, grows more convulsed with each gibe. Louis Bayard, Washington Post, 24 Apr. 2023 Putin’s speech drew a daylong series of gibes on social media, with Ukrainians pointing out that Moscow had suffered a series of humiliating defeats in the nearly one year since launching the full-scale invasion. Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2023 The two men’s dislike for one another played out harmlessly for years, with gibes and rolled eyes. oregonlive, 15 Feb. 2023 While the term has come to be seen as an admirable quality in a leader who can overcome deficiencies that would doom anyone else, Mrs. Schroeder’s gibe was not intended as a compliment. Judi Hasson, Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gibe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



perhaps from Middle French giber to shake, handle roughly


derivative of gibe entry 1

First Known Use


1567, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1572, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gibe was in 1567


Dictionary Entries Near gibe

Cite this Entry

“Gibe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants or jibe
gibed or jibed; gibing or jibing
: taunt, jeer
gibe noun
giber noun

More from Merriam-Webster on gibe

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!