\ˈjēp \

Definition of jeep 

(Entry 1 of 3)

: a small general-purpose motor vehicle with 80-inch wheelbase, ¹/₄-ton capacity, and four-wheel drive used by the U.S. Army in World War II also : a similar but larger and more powerful U.S. army vehicle


jeeped; jeeping; jeeps

Definition of jeep (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to travel by jeep



Definition of Jeep (Entry 3 of 3)

used for a civilian automotive vehicle

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Did You Know?

The word jeep in its early history saw a curious range of applications. Probably the progenitor of all of them was a character named Eugene the Jeep that first appeared in March 1936 in Elzie C. Segar’s comic strip Thimble Theater, featuring Popeye. In 1940 jeep was defined Army vernacular for “any very small plane, helicopter, or gadget.” To the Air Corps, jeep was a small trainer, and to the Navy an escort carrier. The now familiar use of jeep for a ¼-ton military vehicle was first noted in February 1941, but in the early years of Word War II, some soldiers applied jeep to a now-forgotten ¾-ton command car, while the ¼-ton vehicle was known as a peep.

Examples of jeep in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Despite the risks, there’s an obvious reason for Western sea blindness: While most people have seen soldiers or perhaps some army jeeps, few have encountered frigates. Elisabeth Braw, WSJ, "The Risks of Failing to See the Sea," 21 Oct. 2018 Without a jeep or a horse, visitors to Khan al-Ahmar pull over across Route 1, dodge speeding cars on foot, hurdle a metal barrier and climb a rocky hill. New York Times, "As Israel Pushes to Build, Bedouin Homes and School Face Demolition," 24 June 2018 On the eight-mile trek back to his jeep, Ralston met a family of hikers who gave him food and called in medical help. Brynn Mannino, Woman's Day, "9 Miraculous Rescues," 4 Nov. 2010 Grownups will enjoy the spectacular views and kids will like watching jeeps rumble out of the forest and park on a knob of stone. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "Kid-friendly hikes around Arizona: Hit the trail with your family this summer," 28 June 2018 The outrage over the replica gun on the back of a patriotic jeep is the left trying to attack guns and your #2A rights. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Kansas gubernatorial hopeful calls out 'snowflake meltdown' after riding jeep with replica gun at parade," 4 June 2018 Both were operated by a three-man crew and an a M151 jeep could carry the entire system. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Time Bobby Kennedy Watched the Smallest Nuclear Explosion Ever," 2 May 2016 Plus, even with accurate dimensions, T. rex would already have trouble chasing down jeeps. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Five Ways Real Science Would Make the New Jurassic World So Much Better," 12 June 2018 Though authorities haven't yet released a cause of death, the station said officials have seized the mother's jeep Thursday as evidence. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Mom arrested after newborn, 2-year-old sister found dead in rural Kansas," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Chicago Gun Club had applied to start an upscale range with two membership lounges, a 32-bay firing range, firearm and Jeep retail space; residents expressed concern that the business would serve alcohol, according to articles. Mark Lawton,, "Upscale gun range opens in unincorporated Lake Forest," 26 June 2017

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


1940, in the meaning defined above


1942, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jeep


probably ultimately from Eugene the Jeep, character in the comic strip Thimble Theater by Elzie C. Segar

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Dictionary Entries near jeep







jeepers creepers

Statistics for jeep

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jeep

The first known use of jeep was in 1940

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More Definitions for jeep



English Language Learners Definition of Jeep

—used for a small truck that can be driven over very rough surfaces


\ˈjēp \

Kids Definition of jeep

: a small motor vehicle used by the United States military for travel on rough surfaces

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More from Merriam-Webster on jeep

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jeep

Spanish Central: Translation of jeep

Nglish: Translation of jeep for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jeep for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about jeep

Comments on jeep

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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