1 of 2


jilted; jilting; jilts

transitive verb

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


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

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
He was unceremoniously replaced by Jay Leno in January 2010 (which Rolling Stone likened at the time as the comedy-world equivalent of being jilted at the altar for a Jersey Shore cast member) and hasn’t set foot on the NBC franchise’s stage since. Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone, 4 Apr. 2024 Wolper then eliminated the more dramatic Claudio-Hero plot, which finds Hero faking her own death after Claudio publicly jilts her. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 31 Mar. 2024 Getting jilted by Elon Musk’s Tesla wasn’t such a bad thing after all. Steve Mollman, Fortune, 29 Feb. 2024 Beanie Feldstein swoops in to steal the film, playing a cop and jilted lover of Qualley’s character Jamie, but even her presence isn’t capitalized upon. Randy Myers, The Mercury News, 21 Feb. 2024 The original music upended viewer expectations in ways even the script itself couldn’t, leaving the audience jilted and intrigued. Vulture, 24 Jan. 2024 Never mind that the company is still in many ways on the defensive, having to fend off a proxy fight from activist investor Nelson Peltz that has the support of former Marvel boss Ike Perlmutter and jilted former Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 27 Dec. 2023 One of the most notorious tales surrounding the property involves two women, each jilted at the altar, who took their own lives in the same room several decades apart. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, 13 Aug. 2023 Florida stands jilted and unimpressed by Farmers’ decision. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 12 July 2023
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, 14 Nov. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'jilt.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

alteration of jillet flirtatious girl

First Known Use


1673, in the meaning defined above


circa 1674, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of jilt was in 1673


Dictionary Entries Near jilt

Cite this Entry

“Jilt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jilt. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
: to cast a lover aside unfeelingly


2 of 2 noun
: a person who jilts a lover

More from Merriam-Webster on jilt

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