jel·​ly | \ ˈje-lē How to pronounce jelly (audio) \
plural jellies

Definition of jelly

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a soft somewhat elastic food product made usually with gelatin or pectin especially : a fruit product made by boiling sugar and the juice of fruit
2 : a substance resembling jelly in consistency
4 : a state of fear or irresolution
5 : a shapeless structureless mass : pulp


jellied; jellying

Definition of jelly (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : jell
2 : to make jelly

transitive verb

: to bring to the consistency of jelly



Definition of jelly (Entry 3 of 3)

: jealous "I'm jelly," declared Jon Osborne of Pardi's white, sparkly jacket, complete with flowers …— Taylor Weatherby

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Other Words from jelly


jellylike \ ˈjē-​lē-​ˌlīk How to pronounce jellylike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of jelly in a Sentence

Noun a selection of different jellies and jams He spread some jelly on his toast. a jar of grape jelly a peanut butter and jelly sandwich a meat glaze made with stock and jelly Verb this fruit juice is taking longer to jelly than I expected
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With the swiped quarter and a separate, hilarious look at Koepka trying to slice a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, there are now a few more memorable moments during breaks. Katherine Fitzgerald, azcentral, "ASU alum Matt Barrie part of new batch of 'This is SportsCenter' commercials," 6 Sep. 2019 Coaches used donations to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches between two-a-days over the summer, when meals offered during the school year weren't available. Melanie Laughman,, "Cincinnati high school football coaches: 'It gets to your soul, the things you see'," 28 Aug. 2019 Before walking out the door, Robert grabbed the lunch Jeanette prepared for him the night before — three crunchy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, each one with a small bite in the corner meant to be a love note from his wife. Jeff Coen,, "A suburban man lost his life — and his nephew lost his arms — from an improperly installed ComEd wire. State regulators can’t guarantee it won’t happen again.," 13 Sep. 2019 Cory Booker, a vegan, couldn’t eat much besides a deep-fried peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, from a yellow booth known as the Veggie-Table. Eren Orbey, The New Yorker, "A Pageantry of Anti-Trumpism at the Iowa State Fair," 14 Aug. 2019 Steve Percy sits at his desk, alone, chewing a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich., "Surprise pick as Interim leader helps 'healing’ at Portland State," 28 July 2019 And in the back, volunteers lay out premade turkey and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, right next to the section full of chicken drumsticks, eggs and spinach salads. Elise Takahama, The Seattle Times, "New Sodo food bank aims to create welcoming, grocery-store environment," 24 June 2019 Wings and beer, says Jordan Busch, is like peanut butter and jelly for adults. Andre Meunier, oregonlive, "Fire on the Mountain not just winging it in Beervana: Portland Breweries Series," 12 Sep. 2019 Then foodie Lee Greene in Chicago, roughly 10 years ago, sought out the Beaver Dam pepper for pickling and processing as a hot sauce and jelly — products that were sold by Whole Foods and in specialty food shops. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A little-known heirloom pepper has its own festival in Beaver Dam, where it arrived in America long ago," 3 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The depths are a swirl of tapioca, agar-agar and basil seeds like a hundred tiny eyes, jellied on the outside with a crunch within. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "Burmese Cuisine, a New York Rarity, at Rangoon Spoon," 24 May 2018 From here, the longest run in the region is a leg-jellying 15 kilometer, 2,000-meter descent back down to Gaislachkogl. CNN, "Solden: The ski resort with a James Bond museum," 26 Oct. 2017 And according to TMZ, Miller will be noshing this first week on jellied toast for breakfast, hamburgers and fruit for lunch, sandwiches and wraps for dinner, and weekend meals of sloppy Joes and tacos. Diana Pearl,, "Dance Moms' Abby Lee Miller Goes to Prison: Inside the Place She Could Spend the Next 366 Days," 12 July 2017 Meanwhile their neighbors engaged in a range of menial tasks, including gluing together matchbooks by hand and selling vintage snacks (jellied eel, anyone?) from street carts. Meredith Blake,, "Little food, no showers, but at least no one had cholera: what it was like to star in 'Victorian Slum House'," 15 May 2017

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1590, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1931, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jelly


Middle English gelly, from Anglo-French gelee, from feminine of gelé, past participle of geler to freeze, congeal, from Latin gelare — more at cold


jeal(ous) + -y entry 1

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Learn More about jelly

Dictionary Entries near jelly





jelly baby

jelly bag


Statistics for jelly

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for jelly

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

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More Definitions for jelly


How to pronounce jelly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of jelly

: a sweet and soft food made by boiling sugar and fruit juice until it is thick
British : a fruit-flavored dessert made with gelatin
old-fashioned : a food made from meat juices and gelatin


jel·​ly | \ ˈje-lē How to pronounce jelly (audio) \
plural jellies

Kids Definition of jelly

: a soft springy food made from fruit juice boiled with sugar, from meat juices, or from gelatin

Other Words from jelly

jellylike \ -​ˌlīk \ adjective


jel·​ly | \ ˈjel-ē How to pronounce jelly (audio) \
plural jellies

Medical Definition of jelly

1 : a soft somewhat elastic food product made usually with gelatin or pectin especially : a fruit product made by boiling sugar and the juice of fruit
2 : a substance resembling jelly in consistency: as
a : a transparent elastic gel
b : a semisolid medicated or cosmetic preparation often having a gum base and usually intended for local application ephedrine jelly
c : a jellylike preparation used in electrocardiography to obtain better conduction of electricity electrode jelly

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More from Merriam-Webster on jelly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jelly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jelly

Spanish Central: Translation of jelly

Nglish: Translation of jelly for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on jelly

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


to spread as a report or rumor

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