\ ˈjīv How to pronounce jive (audio) \

Definition of jive

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : glib, deceptive, or foolish talk tired of listening to his jive
b : the jargon of hipsters
c : a special jargon of difficult or slang terms street jive
2 : swing music or the dancing performed to it


jived; jiving

Definition of jive (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to say foolish, deceptive, or unserious things to (someone) He's jiving you.

intransitive verb

1 : to talk in a foolish, deceptive, or unserious way : to talk jive (see jive entry 1 sense 1) He's just jiving.
2 : to dance to or play jive (see jive entry 1 sense 2)



Definition of jive (Entry 3 of 3)

: phony if you are late getting to heaven, you will give Saint Peter some jive excuse— Langston Hughes

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Other Words from jive


jivey \ ˈjī-​vē How to pronounce jive (audio) \ adjective

Jive vs. Jibe

People began confusing jive and jibe almost immediately after jive entered our language in the late 1920s. In particular, jive is often used as a variant for the sense of jibe meaning “agree,” as in “that doesn’t jive with my memory of what happened.” This use of jive, although increasingly common, is widely considered to be an error. Jibe, however, is accepted as a variant spelling of an entirely different word, which is gibe (“to utter taunting words”).

Examples of jive in a Sentence

Noun She grew up talking street jive. I'm tired of listening to your jive. Verb I know he's just jiving me. Don't take him seriously—he's just jiving. Everyone was jiving to the beat. Adjective don't give me that jive talk about me being your new best friend
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Everyone else just speaks military jive, half-swearing and half-jargon. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Years Have Not Been Kind to Platoon’s Macho Melodrama," 6 Mar. 2021 The second effort foretold disaster, with a training video that showed real tension as Nelly struggled with a jive. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'DWTS' recap: 'Bachelorette' Kaitlyn Bristowe channels personal tragedy, two contestants cruelly cut down," 17 Nov. 2020 Their jive is bright and fun, but Kaitlyn seems to lose steam throughout. Maggie Fremont, EW.com, "Dancing With the Stars recap: There's no double elimination, but the pressure is still on," 3 Nov. 2020 That slimmed down jives with reports from other Oregon businesses. oregonlive, "On Sunday, Sugarpine will sell you drive-thru ice cream for Mother’s Day -- so long as you wear a mask," 9 May 2020 The four sets of dancers performed two dances each, earning votes from viewers and judges' scores, which were weighed equally. The first round saw Ally and Sasha zooming out to a perfect 30 for 30 from the judges with a spot-on jive. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Dancing With the Stars': Who is the new champion after nail-biting finals?," 26 Nov. 2019 The 21-year-old model, along with her dance pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy, tied for the highest score on Monday night's show, but the stellar performance — a high-energy jive — wasn't enough to save the duo, and they were sent home. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "Sailor Brinkley-Cook Says 'DWTS' Helped Her Conquer Her Lifelong Stage Fright," 25 Oct. 2019 During the World Series, entire baseball stadiums acted out the video’s shark-bite hand jive. Ben Sisario, New York Times, "‘Baby Shark’ Smells Money Onstage," 15 Nov. 2019 On Monday, her jive earned her three 9's from the judges, for a total score of 27. Marianne Garvey, CNN, "'Dancing With the Stars' shock elimination leaves fans shook," 22 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Memory foam mattresses might be a hot commodity in the mattress game right now, but the newer technology doesn’t jive with everybody. Kevin Luna, chicagotribune.com, "What is an innerspring mattress?," 7 Mar. 2021 All of that would jive with a guy who is trying to lift the ball more to create extra carry. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "Rangers wrap-up: 5 offseason questions to answer, free agents to keep in mind and MLB draft prospects to know," 24 Sep. 2020 Potential spoiler warning: Consisting of six issues, that volume sees Beta unleash the dead on the group in the aftermath of Alpha's death, which so far jives with the show. Nick Romano, EW.com, "The Walking Dead (pseudo) season finale recap: All hail Princess!," 6 Apr. 2020 For the gently jiving Mr. Businessman, not the beat, but that’s okay. Seija Rankin, EW.com, "Read an exclusive excerpt from Stephen King's newest book If It Bleeds," 21 Apr. 2020 Mayfield, Garrett and Ward are the only picks to reach the quality threshold, which probably jives with how most fans viewed their rookie years. Scott Patsko, cleveland, "How many Browns draft picks can be impact starters in 2020?," 21 Apr. 2020 This theory jives with the approach of Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, in redefining balance. S. Mitra Kalita For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "9 reasons the Indian CEO keeps coming to the rescue," 2 Feb. 2020 All were built after World War II to cheaply house the masses in a way that jived with communist ideology. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "Ugly or Beautiful? The Housing Blocks Communism Left Behind," 6 Aug. 2019 This jives with what Steward said in his original Instagram announcement. Thom Craver, CBS News, "Patrick Stewart introduces new "Star Trek: Picard" trailer at San Diego Comic-Con," 20 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective From the glimpses of practice available to reporters this spring, those stripe removals jive with which players are making plays and creeping up the depth chart. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s Emeka Egbuka, Reid Carrico latest freshmen to lose black stripes," 13 Apr. 2021 The youth organization, known for its summer camps and leadership development program, is officially changing its name after students urged that PRIDE just didn’t jive with the club’s overall mission anymore. Jessica Saggio | Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, "'PRIDE' youth leadership program changes its name to stress action," 1 Feb. 2021 The couple spoke to Entertainment Tonight after their Nov. 2 performances — a jive and samba relay — which received mostly positive feedback from all the judges. . . Christy Piña, Woman's Day, "'DWTS' Kaitlyn Bristowe Thinks Carrie Ann Inaba Has 'Different Expectations' For Her," 4 Nov. 2020 For example, AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke have already danced the jive, foxtrot, quickstep, cha-cha, waltz, samba, and tango during previous weeks, so each of those dance styles will be off the table. Kelsey Hurwitz, Woman's Day, "This Week's 'Dancing With the Stars' Relay Could Turn the Competition on Its Head," 30 Oct. 2020 However, the quality of the video doesn't quite jive with the rest of the episode. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "Why The Politician Season 2 Includes That Strange FaceTime Scene," 21 June 2020 However, that endeavor didn’t jive with his driving privileges. John Benson, cleveland, "‘Alcohol Flush Support’ pills don’t help drunk driver escape arrest: North Royalton Police Blotter," 27 May 2020 Green’s reputation for chance taking didn’t always jive with statistics, however. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "IU basketball player review: Devonte Green gave Hoosiers something no one else could," 23 Mar. 2020 With that in mind, a wholesale treatment of the record is more chamber recital than jive pageant. oregonlive, "29 February concerts to love for Portland’s best live music," 28 Jan. 2020

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


1925, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1928, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1953, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jive

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

origin unknown

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Statistics for jive

Cite this Entry

“Jive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jive. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for jive



English Language Learners Definition of jive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

informal + somewhat old-fashioned
: informal language that includes many slang terms
: deceptive or foolish talk
: a type of fast lively music that was especially popular in the early part of the 20th century also : a dance performed to this type of music



English Language Learners Definition of jive (Entry 2 of 2)

informal + somewhat old-fashioned
US : to say foolish or deceptive things to (someone)
: to dance to or play jive music

More from Merriam-Webster on jive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jive

Nglish: Translation of jive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jive

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