\ ˈjilt How to pronounce jilt (audio) \
jilted; jilting; jilts

Definition of jilt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cast off or reject (someone, such as a lover) capriciously or unfeelingly a jilted lover



Definition of jilt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who casts off or rejects someone previously accepted as a lover : one who jilts (see jilt entry 1) a lover

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Other Words from jilt


jilter noun

Did You Know?


Jilt traces back to the English dialect noun jillet ("a flirtatious girl"), itself from Jill or Gill (used both as a proper name and as a noun meaning "girl") plus the diminutive suffix -et. Jilt itself came into use in the second half of the 17th century as a noun meaning "an unchaste woman" (a sense that is now obsolete) or "a woman who capriciously casts a lover aside," and also as a verb used for the actions of such a woman. These days, the person doing the jilting can be either male or female, and though jilt usually implies the sudden ending of a romantic relationship, it can also be used beyond the context of a romantic relationship with the broader meaning "to sever close relations with."

Examples of jilt in a Sentence

Verb She was crushed when he jilted her. still trying to get over being jilted by his longtime girlfriend
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The field has winnowed dramatically in the last few days, with billionaire Tom Steyer dropping out on Saturday, followed by Buttigieg, who jilted Dallas supporters awaiting his rally at a downtown park. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Klobuchar and Buttigieg heading to Dallas to throw support to Biden, as centrists join forces to halt Sanders and Bloomberg," 2 Mar. 2020 Treviño said Lime’s suggestion that high city fees had played into its decision to leave would concern him more if only San Antonio had been jilted. Bruce Selcraig, ExpressNews.com, "Lime sours on San Antonio weeks after winning scooter contract," 9 Jan. 2020 He’d just been jilted by head coach Willie Taggart, who leveraged Oregon and then left the Ducks for Florida State and a $30 million windfall. John Canzano | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Canzano: Oregon Ducks’ Pac-12 title win was delivery of a Mario Cristobal promise," 7 Dec. 2019 All of this comes months after UConn jilted the American Athletic Conference (AAC) for the Big East. Michael Hamad, courant.com, "From pizza to pot: Here are six Connecticut stories you can talk about at the Thanksgiving table that don’t have to do with the election or national politics," 27 Nov. 2019 After all, Oregonians felt used, misled and jilted by the way the coach conducted himself in his one season in Eugene. John Canzano | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Canzano: Willie Taggart’s firing leaves Oregon Ducks as the only winner," 3 Nov. 2019 Meanwhile, in Boston, millions of Celtics fans jilted by Kyrie are prepared to build Kemba a statue before he's even played a game. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "Giannis, Jokic and a Guide to the 2020 NBA MVP Odds," 4 Sep. 2019 Not wanting a guy who jilted you to succeed I get, but some of the anger and nastiness is way over the top. Tim Brown, oregonlive, "'You hate to see it’: Fans, media react to Willie Taggart being fired by Florida State," 3 Nov. 2019 Detectives quickly located the other two thieves with the help of Janet Florkiewicz’s jilted boyfriend and her roommate in New York, who was speaking by phone with her in Miami. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, "How a Band of Surfer Dudes Pulled Off the Biggest Jewel Heist in N.Y. History," 17 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun What felt like a jilt to the losers showed just how much of a hold Amazon exerted on a swath of American cities. Shayndi Raice, WSJ, "How Amazon Picked HQ2 and Jilted 236 Cities," 14 Nov. 2018

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


1673, in the meaning defined above


circa 1674, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jilt

Noun and Verb

alteration of jillet flirtatious girl

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Last Updated

17 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Jilt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jilt. Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for jilt


How to pronounce jilt (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of jilt

: to end a romantic relationship with (someone) in a sudden and painful way

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More from Merriam-Webster on jilt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jilt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jilt

Spanish Central: Translation of jilt

Nglish: Translation of jilt for Spanish Speakers

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