jar·​gon | \ ˈjär-gən How to pronounce jargon (audio) , -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)

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Other Words from jargon


jargony \ ˈjär-​gə-​nē How to pronounce jargony (audio) , -​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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Apollo 11 must pass a series of checkpoints, known in space agency jargon as go -- no go decisions. Houston Chronicle, "Apollo Breaks Out of Earth’s Pull," 21 July 2019 The counter crew is friendly and the craftsmanship of the subs (heroes, in New York jargon) are impressive. Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "Publix subs are good (but not with chicken tenders). These are better. Our critic rates local sub shops.," 13 June 2019 And my heart was not yet indifferent to the shabby jargon of hope. Lynn Freed, Harper's magazine, "We Were So Happy Then," 10 Mar. 2019 These days, when jargon-free consideration of the canonical texts of English literature is deemed passé, such fame seems almost unimaginable. Benjamin Balint, WSJ, "‘Life in Culture’ Review: Between Revolution and Respectability," 20 Sep. 2018 McClatchy The financial services industry is loaded with jargon, definitions and terms that are at times incomprehensible. Mark Daly, idahostatesman, "Learn these terms to become more confident in your savings and investing," 4 June 2019 To borrow some business jargon, the Coyotes could help Meruelo create synergy along his entire business platform. Kent Somers, azcentral, "Is Alex Meruelo the right owner at the right time for the Coyotes?," 13 June 2019 Business jargon isn’t in her wheelhouse What is a wheelhouse, and why are businesspeople so concerned with establishing what’s in it? Christian Science Monitor, "The Culture | In a Word," 7 June 2019 The writing is clear and jargon-free, even riveting in its deadpan just-the-facts narrative. Linda Greenhouse, The New York Review of Books, "The Impeachment Question," 30 May 2019

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.

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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

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French jargun, gargon

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Statistics for jargon

Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jargon

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

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More Definitions for jargon



English Language Learners Definition of jargon

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


jar·​gon | \ ˈjär-gən How to pronounce jargon (audio) , -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 How to pronounce jargon (audio) \

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)

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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).


a period when something is suspended

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