\ 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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Talk host uses her off time to teach online fitness classes, but no amount of extra-curricular cardio seemed to help with her underwhelming jive that featured one too many lifts. Lynette Rice, EW.com, 2 Nov. 2021 Paired with pro dancer Sasha Farber, Lee showed moments of raw athletic awesomeness — bouncing up from a split with shocking alacrity and giving precise kicks and flicks in her jive. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 21 Sep. 2021 In an era of TikTok pop jive, Cedric Burnside is a dirty-fingernails bluesman. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, 29 Sep. 2021 Lee made her Dancing with the Stars debut this week, performing a jive with partner Sasha Farber. Naledi Ushe, PEOPLE.com, 22 Sep. 2021 Waits left, the brief Camelot of our street corner jive ended. New York Times, 30 July 2021 Waits left, the brief Camelot of our street corner jive ended. New York Times, 30 July 2021 Waits left, the brief Camelot of our street corner jive ended. New York Times, 30 July 2021 The first round saw Ally and Sasha zooming out to a perfect 30 for 30 from the judges with a spot-on jive. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, 11 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So, the end product comes out as something with a feel in it as well as something to jive to. Spin Staff, SPIN, 1 June 2022 Those answers are yet to be discovered, but Maggie's Negan-esque descent doesn't seem to jive with the Commonwealth's code of conduct. Nick Romano, EW.com, 21 Feb. 2022 Smith, 63, employs some old-school tactics that don't jive as well with today's athletes and would be a major culture shock to how the Colts currently run. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 27 Jan. 2022 New and old systems often don't jive together, so bridging that gap is essential for a successful last-mile implementation. Daniel Sokolovsky, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021 And attendees on lawn chairs will jive to the sounds of steel bands. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Aug. 2021 That mandate didn't jive with a Florida state law banning businesses from requiring proof of vaccination. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, 23 June 2021 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, 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, 24 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Their voices, surprisingly, jive very well together, despite their stylistic differences. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 25 Aug. 2022 Using his kid to gain a recruiting advantage, Venables stood up in front of people and spun together some devilishly brilliant recruiting jive in his introductory speech. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, 7 Dec. 2021 Can that tight-coverage, aggressive mentality jive if Dallas encounters a similar officiating crew in the coming months? Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 26 Nov. 2021 That was Bo Nix, Auburn fan for life, talking jive the week of the Iron Bowl. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, 24 Nov. 2021 The Peloton instructor also earned two bonus points in the jive relay round, bringing his final total for the night to 36. Gabrielle Duncan, PEOPLE.com, 1 Nov. 2021 But bringing it in from elsewhere didn’t jive with the premise of a truly self-sufficient environment. Jill Barth, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 In many of these passages, facts, gyration, jive and comedy are cut across one another yet in equilibrium. Mark Olsen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2021 In many of these passages, facts, gyration, jive and comedy are cut across one another yet in equilibrium. Mark Olsen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2021 See More

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.

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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Cite this Entry

“Jive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jive. Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on jive

Nglish: Translation of jive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jive


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