jay·​walk | \ ˈjā-ˌwȯk \
jaywalked; jaywalking; jaywalks

Definition of jaywalk

intransitive verb

: to cross a street carelessly or in an illegal manner so as to be endangered by traffic

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Other Words from jaywalk

jaywalker noun

Examples of jaywalk in a Sentence

The police officer warned us not to jaywalk.

Recent Examples on the Web

These tools range from facial-recognition software ostensibly aimed at curbing jaywalking to nearly omnipresent surveillance cameras monitoring the county's Uighur minority. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Google Employees Sign Protest Letter Against Secretive Chinese Search Engine," 27 Nov. 2018 Eliminating jaywalking and similar offenses won’t lead to anarchy on American roads. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Case Against Jaywalking Laws," 12 Mar. 2018 In the body camera footage, Hickman and then-officer-in-training Verino Ruggiero were seen in the cruiser, only for one of the officers to start complaining about Rush’s jaywalking after he had been warned. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Walking While Black: Body Cam Footage Shows Brutal Beating of North Carolina Man over Alleged Jaywalking, Trespassing," 2 Mar. 2018 Those problems seem like jaywalking violations compared with the blatant failure of U.S.A. Gymnastics to protect its young gymnasts from a serial predator like Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar, the longtime national team doctor. Juliet Macur, New York Times, "Who Has U.S.A. Gymnastics’ Back at This Point? The U.S.O.C., for Some Reason," 19 Jan. 2018 Data and safety experts verified that long-standing common factors in pedestrian deaths, such as alcohol and jaywalking at night, did not account for the growth. Detroit Free Press, "Death on foot," 28 June 2018 Many who died were males, were jaywalking or had alcohol in their systems on multilane roads in urban areas at night. Detroit Free Press, "Death on foot," 28 June 2018 Body camera video obtained by Asheville's Citizen-Times showed a second Asheville police officer warning Rush about repeatedly jaywalking at the beginning of the incident. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Ex-Asheville cop won't face federal charges in violent arrest of black jaywalker," 29 June 2018 In the video, the victim, Elaine Herzberg, 49, appears to be illegally jaywalking from a median strip across two lanes of traffic on a dark road. Russ Mitchell, latimes.com, "Experts say video of Uber's self-driving car killing a pedestrian suggests its technology may have failed," 22 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jaywalk.' 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 jaywalk

1915, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near jaywalk


jay teal






Statistics for jaywalk

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jaywalk

The first known use of jaywalk was in 1915

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More Definitions for jaywalk



English Language Learners Definition of jaywalk

: to cross a street carelessly or at an illegal or dangerous place


jay·​walk | \ ˈjā-ˌwȯk \
jaywalked; jaywalking

Kids Definition of jaywalk

: to cross a street in a place or in a way that is against traffic regulations

Other Words from jaywalk

jaywalker noun
jay·​walk | \ ˈjā-ˌwȯk \

Legal Definition of jaywalk

: to cross a street carelessly or in an illegal manner so as to be endangered by traffic

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More from Merriam-Webster on jaywalk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jaywalk

Spanish Central: Translation of jaywalk

Nglish: Translation of jaywalk for Spanish Speakers

Comments on jaywalk

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


to gather or build up little by little

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