ja·​lopy jə-ˈlä-pē How to pronounce jalopy (audio)
plural jalopies
: a dilapidated old vehicle (such as an automobile)

Examples of jalopy in a Sentence

They were shocked when the jalopy sitting in the barn actually started. his parents gave him an old jalopy for school
Recent Examples on the Web Visits by this jalopy to a grandmother carry memories of a seashore where the barbed wire and antitank blocks are just being cleared away, and where rock pools shine to his boy’s eye with secret, depthless life. Colin Thubron, The New York Review of Books, 19 Jan. 2023 How can cinema, a rickety old jalopy that started its motor in the early twentieth century, hope to keep pace with that? Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 15 Dec. 2023 What the Aztecs need is to turn the most boring offense in the school’s modern day history into an exciting adventure, and Lewis goes 100 mph, which is 100-mph faster than Hoke’s jalopy. Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Dec. 2023 Kids in jalopies cruised at night, listening to Mexican pirate radio. Brendan McAleer, Car and Driver, 19 Aug. 2023 With its jalopy stalled in the dark Mountain West tunnel since 1999, San Diego State finally has managed (through remarkable circumstances beyond its control) to hire a mechanic who had a radical set of tools to fix it, and possibly get it the hell out of there. Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 June 2023 Break away from the humdrum of daily reality by steering the jalopy to Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Apr. 2023 As his escort disappeared over the horizon, trailed by a line of German jalopies, gone, too, was the necessity of a special detail in the army post office to handle incoming mail for the rock ‘n roll idol. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Mar. 2023 In some professions, a jalopy won’t cut it. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 12 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1928, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of jalopy was in 1928

Dictionary Entries Near jalopy

Cite this Entry

“Jalopy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jalopy. Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


ja·​lopy jə-ˈläp-ē How to pronounce jalopy (audio)
plural jalopies
: a worn-out old automobile

More from Merriam-Webster on jalopy

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