jehu

noun
je·​hu | \ ˈjē-(ˌ)hyü How to pronounce jehu (audio) , -(ˌ)hü \

Definition of jehu

1 capitalized : a king of Israel in the ninth century b.c. who according to the account in II Kings had Jezebel killed in accordance with Elijah's prophecy
2 : a driver of a coach or cab

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Originally a commander of chariots for Ahab, king of Israel, Jehu later led a revolt against the throne and became king himself. In the Bible, it is noted of Jehu that "he drives furiously" (II Kings 9:20). In the 17th century, English speakers began using jehu as a generic term meaning "coachman" or, specifically, "a fast or reckless coachman." Today, we are more likely to use the word in reference to reckless cabdrivers. The phrase drives like Jehu is encountered occasionally, too.

First Known Use of jehu

1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for jehu

Hebrew Yēhū

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Dictionary Entries Near jehu

Jehovistic

jehu

jeisticcor

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Cite this Entry

“Jehu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jehu. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on jehu

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jehu

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