jos·​tle | \ ˈjä-səl How to pronounce jostle (audio) \
jostled; jostling\ ˈjā-​s(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce jostle (audio) \

Definition of jostle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to come in contact or into collision a jostling crowd
b : to make one's way by pushing and shoving people jostling toward the exit
c : to exist in close proximity
2 : to vie in gaining an objective : contend tribes began to jostle with one another for room— Daniel Defoe

transitive verb

1a : to come in contact or into collision with being jostled by the crowd
b : to force by pushing : elbow jostled his way through the crowd
c : to stir up : agitate thunder jostled us awake
d : to exist in close proximity with Europe, where a number of languages jostle each other— D. G. Mandelbaum
2 : to vie with in attaining an objective an enormous industry in which a great many companies and interests jostle each other fiercelyWashington Post



Definition of jostle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the experience of being pushed or jostled (see jostle entry 1) might glide through … life among them without a jostle— Thomas Jefferson
2 : the state of being crowded or pushed together : the state of being jostled the state fair is deliberately about the crowds and jostle, the noise and overload of sight and event— David Foster Wallace

Examples of jostle in a Sentence

Verb Everyone in the crowd was jostling each other trying to get a better view. everyone glared at the man who jostled to the front of the line
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But a slate of other incumbent Michigan lawmakers will battle each other this year, as legislators jostle for power and new seats after redistricting forced many into political subdivisions with a colleague. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, 19 Apr. 2022 The crisis has seen Ukrainian grain shipments effectively dry up, causing multiweek railway logjams at border crossings as exporters jostle to secure rail cars in the face of increasingly limited logistical options., 19 Apr. 2022 With the victory, the Kings earned the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Spurs in the standings, a bauble that could come in handy as the teams jostle for a position in the Western Conference play-in tournament. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 3 Mar. 2022 Later that year, the Alliance’s top members would jostle their way into SAG leadership. Peter Labuza, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Mar. 2022 In coming months, as the Warriors jostle for the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed, Thompson hopes to return to that player. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 25 Jan. 2022 As the team continues to jostle for positioning in the standings, many games down the stretch will have a playoff feel. C.j. Holmes, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 Mar. 2022 Concussions jostle the brain’s gelatinous mass of neurons, disrupting circuitry that affects mood, function, thinking and more. New York Times, 1 Mar. 2022 Winning if overindulgent crowd-pleasers are par for the course at Sundance; so are consciousness-raising documentaries in which attention-grabbing personalities jostle alongside hard-hitting subjects. Los Angeles Times, 30 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Swift strokes jostle forward in a single, albeit rumpled, optical plane. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 Even with more modern cluster bombs, if the original trigger does not work properly, a slight jostle is likely to set them off. Rachel Lance, Wired, 20 Mar. 2022 Retina-searing coords jostle for attention next to floral jacquard suiting and delightfully ruffled dresses – each a cacophony of textures and prints. Vogue, 14 Apr. 2022 Bomblets that fail to detonate may lie dormant for decades, poised for the unfortunate jostle that sets them off. Rachel Lance, Wired, 20 Mar. 2022 The blossoms in her new artwork jostle with nonrepresentational imagery, and are often deployed in fanciful ways. Washington Post, 4 Mar. 2022 Each bite reveals new flavors as the many forms of umami jostle for primacy. New York Times, 17 Dec. 2021 For now, at least, the jostle and glister of lower Manhattan retain their fragile balance. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 15 Dec. 2021 Nurses intervened, telling them the accused had been waiting since the previous day and averting violence in what has become a tense atmosphere as Ugandans jostle for vaccinations., 15 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jostle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of jostle


1546, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for jostle

Verb and Noun

alteration of justle, frequentative of joust entry 1

Learn More About jostle

Dictionary Entries Near jostle

joss stick



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Statistics for jostle

Last Updated

26 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Jostle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for jostle


jos·​tle | \ ˈjä-səl How to pronounce jostle (audio) \
jostled; jostling

Kids Definition of jostle

: to push roughly … people were … jostling and trying to get a bit closer to the famous girl.— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

More from Merriam-Webster on jostle

Nglish: Translation of jostle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jostle for Arabic Speakers


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