jehu

noun
je·hu | \ˈjē-(ˌ)hyü, -(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

Did You Know?

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about jehu

Listen to Our Podcast about jehu

Dictionary Entries near jehu

Jehovism

Jehovist

Jehovistic

jehu

jeisticcor

jejun-

jejunal

Statistics for jehu

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jehu

The first known use of jehu was in 1560

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on jehu

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jehu

Comments on jehu

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!