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

Keep scrolling for more

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 However, anecdotal reports suggest the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which doesn't use mRNA, may also be instigating long Covid recoveries, and doesn't jostle the immune systems in the same way. Ryan Prior, CNN, "Some Covid-19 long haulers say vaccines may be relieving their symptoms. Researchers are looking into it," 3 Apr. 2021 That means my brain has to jostle aside other information that already lives up there to make room. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, "A shoutout to Alaskans who love the outdoors but don’t fit the ‘outdoorsy’ prototype," 13 Feb. 2021 While last year’s freshmen continue to jostle for opportunity and prove themselves, here comes the next group of potential stars out to make a strong first impression. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s loaded receiver group fighting for opportunities: Three spring questions," 12 Mar. 2021 When we are allowed to be close enough to jostle one another, physically and spiritually. Los Angeles Times, "Column: We can finally see the end of the pandemic. We just need to not implode before we get there," 11 Mar. 2021 In many stadiums and arenas worldwide, massive tarps now cover areas above the tunnels where athletes pass in and out of playing areas and where zealous fans with pens and sports memorabilia typically jostle for position around the railings. New York Times, "The Pandemic Has Diminished Part of Athletes’ Jobs: Signing Autographs," 23 Feb. 2021 Meanwhile, the uncoupled molecules continue to jostle around in search of a good interaction. Scientific American, "Shake, Rattle and React: Proteins Dance across a Membrane," 8 July 2012 As homebuyers jostle for a dwindling supply of houses in South Florida, local bidders are finding themselves in a growing competition with out-of-state people who are offering cash on the spot. David Lyons,, "Homebuyers face stiff competition in South Florida as northerners arrive — with cash," 1 Mar. 2021 To be sure, outside events can temporarily jostle investors. Washington Post, "Stocks drive higher, brushing aside worries about U.S. stability," 14 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun No one wants their shows to become super-spreader events, as music fans share space, jostle for position or sing along with their favorite bands. Mary Colurso |, al, "Birmingham concerts and COVID: When will things return to normal?," 12 Mar. 2021 The agreement comes as Biden and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer jostle to keep the caucus united in support of the president's signature bill. Allison Pecorin, ABC News, "Fewer people will qualify for stimulus checks under new agreement on COVID-19 bill," 4 Mar. 2021 Old images of the store jostle against the barn’s interior walls. Judith Shulevitz, The Atlantic, "Kazuo Ishiguro’s Radiant Robot," 2 Mar. 2021 Hence this jostle for market dominance, which has been a windfall for audiences willing to brave the fire hose in search of quality. Nina Metz,, "Year in review: 2020 was the Year of Streaming, both a windfall and a glut.," 14 Dec. 2020 Monday’s visit provided Lepré the rare opportunity of studying the Mona Lisa up close, without having to jockey for elbow room and jostle for space. Vivian Song, Smithsonian Magazine, "How the Pandemic Is Giving the Louvre Back to Parisians," 7 July 2020 The blue and white of the Saltire jostle with the red and yellow of the Estelada, the banner of Catalonia’s separatist movement. The Economist, "Scotland How the Scottish National Party risks turning Caledonia into Catalonia," 8 Aug. 2020 Through the glass, gowned staff jostle tightly together and circle the patient's head; to replace tubes; to shift posture; to switch their position and relieve each other from the exhausting task. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "Bolsonaro calls coronavirus a 'little flu.' Inside Brazil's hospitals, doctors know the horrifying reality," 23 May 2020 Streets have now been emptied and six-foot grids have been implemented in order to guard against not just bodies but the jostle of existing in a diverse society: confrontations, connection, and accidents, happy and sad. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Pandemic Has Made a Mockery of Minimalism," 23 Apr. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about jostle

Statistics for jostle

Last Updated

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jostle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for jostle



English Language Learners Definition of jostle

: to push against (someone) while moving forward in a crowd of people


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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on jostle

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!