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 Yet all that fresh air and exercise can spark an appetite much bigger than energy bars and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Popular Science, "Lightweight camping stoves to help you make a woodland feast," 9 Apr. 2020 Find fresh recipes this week for blueberry muffins with the correct berry-to-batter ratio, steamed mantou buns, chicken piccata and peanut butter and jelly sandwich cookies. Los Angeles Times, "A critic’s favorite hack for a quick meal at home," 4 Apr. 2020 The Grill 1646 in Lincoln City will provide hot dogs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the next three weeks to kids who eat breakfast and lunch at schools in the Lincoln County School district. oregonlive, "How to get meals for kids while Oregon schools are closed due to coronavirus concerns," 17 Mar. 2020 Lunch bags have an apple, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, string cheese and fruit. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "How one Phoenix school is keeping kids fed through the COVID-19 pandemic," 16 Mar. 2020 My father taught me his jelly-on-garlic-toast trick, showing me the brilliance of cutting heavy foods with something sweet and bright. Jerrelle Guy, Bon Appétit, "This Herb-Adorned Toast is More Dressed Up Than I've Been in Weeks," 22 Apr. 2020 Put more than peanut butter and jelly between bread Nothing is sadder than a soggy sandwich for lunch. Alex Darus, cleveland, "5 healthy lunches you can make at home in less than 15 minutes," 16 Apr. 2020 Watching ‘80s movies and cringing at/rejoicing in all the jelly bracelets, neon tees and crimped hair. USA TODAY, "100 little things that bring us joy during the coronavirus pandemic," 13 Apr. 2020 The Monterey Bay Aquarium in TK has ten live cams spread throughout its campus, covering everything from sharks to moon jellies. Kate Wertheimer, Sunset Magazine, "Escape Into Underwater Bliss with These Aquarium Webcams," 16 Mar. 2020 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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Time Traveler for jelly

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for jelly

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Jelly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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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

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