noun (1)
\ ˈjā How to pronounce jay (audio) \

Definition of jay

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a predominantly fawn-colored Old World bird (Garrulus glandarius) of the crow family with a black-and-white crest and wings marked with black, white, and blue
b : any of various usually crested and largely blue chiefly New World birds that are related to the common Old World jay and have roving habits and harsh voices — compare blue jay
2a : an impertinent chatterer
c : greenhorn
3 : a moderate blue


noun (2)

Definition of jay (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the letter j


biographical name
\ ˈjā How to pronounce Jay (audio) \

Definition of Jay (Entry 3 of 3)

John 1745–1829 American jurist and statesman; 1st chief justice U.S. Supreme Court (1789–95)

First Known Use of jay

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for jay

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin gaius

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Time Traveler for jay

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Jay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jay. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for jay


\ ˈjā How to pronounce jay (audio) \

Kids Definition of jay

: a usually blue bird related to the crow that has a loud call

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More from Merriam-Webster on jay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jay

Nglish: Translation of jay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jay

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