jimjams

plural noun
jim·​jams | \ ˈjim-ˌjamz How to pronounce jimjams (audio) \

Definition of jimjams

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

When jimjams entered English in the mid-19th century, it probably referred to a specific kind of jitters - the "delirium tremens," a violent delirium caused by excessive drinking. Jimjams is not particularly common today, but when it is used in current American English it means simply jitters. Etymologists aren't sure about the origin of the term. Some speculate that it came about as an alteration of delirium tremens. Others, though uncertain of the origin of jim and jam, notice that the word follows a pattern of similar words in which one sound is repeated or altered slightly. Interestingly, other words for jitters were formed in the same repetitive way - whim-whams and heebie-jeebies are examples.

First Known Use of jimjams

1852, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jimjams

perhaps alteration of delirium tremens

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about jimjams

Listen to Our Podcast about jimjams

Dictionary Entries near jimjams

Jim Fish

Jim Hill mustard

jiminy

jimjams

jimmer

jimmies

jimmy

Statistics for jimjams

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jimjams

The first known use of jimjams was in 1852

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for jimjams

jimjams

noun plural
jim·​jams | \ ˈjim-ˌjamz How to pronounce jimjams (audio) \

Medical Definition of jimjams

More from Merriam-Webster on jimjams

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jimjams

Comments on jimjams

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!