jar·​gon | \ˈjär-gən, -ˌgän\

Definition of jargon 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity or group sports jargon

2 : obscure and often pretentious language marked by circumlocutions and long words an academic essay filled with jargon

3a : confused unintelligible language

b : a strange, outlandish, or barbarous language or dialect

c : a hybrid language or dialect simplified in vocabulary and grammar and used for communication between peoples of different speech


jargoned; jargoning; jargons

Definition of jargon (Entry 2 of 2)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from jargon


jargony \ˈjär-​gə-​nē, -​ˌgä-​nē \ adjective

Examples of jargon in a Sentence


medical jargon that the layman cannot understand an academic essay filled with jargon


the birds who began jargoning to greet the dawn
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And that's one of the jobs of the Supreme Court is to cut through the legal jargon and go directly to the American people and say, this is what makes sense based on the decision. Fox News, "Larry Kudlow on where the Trump economy is headed," 8 Sep. 2018 Air travel shouldn't be complicated, but like every other profession, the industry loves jargon. Christopher Elliott, chicagotribune.com, "My airline canceled a leg of my flight, but Expedia won't refund it," 18 June 2018 The issue, in economist’s jargon, is labor force participation. N. Gregory Mankiw, New York Times, "Why Aren’t More Men Working?," 15 June 2018 Everybody, including the kids, suddenly became expert in legal jargon; amateur attorneys sprouted in every living room and bar. Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, "‘Real-life drama’: When a senator won an Emmy for grilling witnesses at a televised hearing," 10 Apr. 2018 Headphone jargon aside, battery life is rated at 6 hours on a single charge, with 9 hours worth of extra battery waiting in the carrying case. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Audio Technica announces its first-ever true wireless earbuds," 29 Aug. 2018 That is diplomatic jargon for getting NATO countries to spend more money on their own defense. Carol Morello, Washington Post, "Pompeo makes debut as secretary of state," 26 Apr. 2018 When hundreds of millions of dollars are on the line, however, investors should expect transparency — not slippery & confusing language masquerading as industry jargon. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Term Sheet -- Friday, May 4," 4 May 2018 His speeches, laden with Marxist jargon and revolutionary slogans, rarely break new ground. Mimi Whitefield And Nora Gámez Torres, miamiherald, "Who is Miguel Díaz-Canel, Cuba's handpicked president? | Miami Herald," 19 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That’s like the same thing that happened in 2008 when everybody was bedazzled by all these Wall Street jargon terms like collateralized debt obligations. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Corey Pein, author of ‘Live Work Work Work Die,’ on Recode Decode," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jargon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of jargon


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for jargon


Middle English, from Anglo-French jargun, gargon


see jargon entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about jargon

Statistics for jargon

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jargon

The first known use of jargon was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for jargon



English Language Learners Definition of jargon

: the language used for a particular activity or by a particular group of people


jar·​gon | \ˈjär-gən, -ˌgän\

Kids Definition of jargon

1 : the special vocabulary of an activity or group sports jargon

2 : language that is not clear and is full of long words


jar·​gon | \ˈjär-gən, -ˌgän \

Medical Definition of jargon 

1 : the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity, group, profession, or field of study medical jargon

2 : unintelligible, meaningless, or incoherent speech (as that associated with Wernicke's aphasia or some forms of schizophrenia)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on jargon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jargon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jargon

Spanish Central: Translation of jargon

Nglish: Translation of jargon for Spanish Speakers

Comments on jargon

What made you want to look up jargon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


amusing and light sparring with words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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