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

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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 Moving forward, Nicola Davis reports for the Guardian, the researchers hope to examine whether squirrels keep an ear out for particular species and if the rodents rely mainly on bird chatter or general foraging and jostling sounds. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Squirrels Eavesdrop on Birds to Check If Danger Has Passed," 6 Sep. 2019 Being jostled around is not a good look for the best of actors. Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Another Life': TV Review," 22 July 2019 That means tectonic plates jostle each other over time. Anya Van Wagtendonk, Vox, "More earthquakes could come, but predicting them is difficult," 4 July 2019 But as the planet’s rocky plates continued to inexorably jostle about, this continent tumbled down into several subduction zones, Earth’s destructive geological maws. Robin George Andrews, National Geographic, "Lost continent revealed in new reconstruction of geologic history," 11 Sep. 2019 Two Houston ISD trustees filed paperwork Monday to seek re-election and will each face a single challenger, while several candidates will jostle to fill two other open seats on a school board that could soon be stripped of power. Jacob Carpenter, Houston Chronicle, "Two HISD trustees to seek re-election, two bow out," 19 Aug. 2019 With just three events left of the regular season, some of the world's top riders will be jostling for position at the breathtaking Stadio dei Marmi venue. Ben Church, CNN, "Rome hosts equestrian's elite in gladiatorial venue," 4 Sep. 2019 According to a video captured by a door camera at Dorsey’s home, Espinoza jostled the door handle while Dorsey yelled at him to leave. Erin Logan,, "‘I can’t imagine he would be violent’: Neighbors question Howard police’s handling of fatal shooting," 22 July 2019 The first tax-filing season under the new law jostled the upper-middle class, as people making between $100,000 and $250,000 became less likely to receive refunds and more likely to owe money with their returns. Richard Rubin And Anthony Debarros, WSJ, "You Filed Returns. The IRS Compiled the Data. Here’s How the New Tax Law Is Working.," 2 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Density waves, caused by the motion of shepherd moons within the rings, jostle and reshape the rings. Vahe Peroomian, The Conversation, "A brief astronomical history of Saturn’s amazing rings," 14 Aug. 2019 Push-carts loaded with sacks of grain bump and jostle through the hubbub. The Economist, "How do you reform a country where gunmen torch Ebola clinics?," 2 Aug. 2019 Bahand’s appointment comes at a crucial time in ties between Moscow and Kabul, as the Kremlin jostles for a new era of influence in the country. Washington Post, "This Afghan ambassador in Moscow mixes diplomacy and Dostoevsky," 20 July 2019 The deal is a setback for Sherwin-Williams as a few big U.S. paint makers buy up small rivals and jostle for market share. Austen Hufford, WSJ, "Berkshire Hathaway’s Benjamin Moore to Become Main Paint Supplier for Ace Hardware," 10 July 2019 Both teams rushed out on the field, but there were no punches thrown; there were a few solid shoves, many light jostles and several pairs of teammates restraining each other. Emma Baccellieri,, "'What Are You Looking At?': The Question That Started the Pirates-Braves Basebrawl," 10 June 2019 This allowed the jostle of distinctive forms, rather than a monolithic mass. John King,, "Well-crafted Jackson Square condos rich in design inspiration," 2 July 2018 In the engrossing West Cork, about the 1996 murder in Ireland of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier, four accents in English jostle for dominance—and, with them, worldviews. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "Seduce Me! The Untainted Sweet Sounds of Accent-Riddled Podcasts," 1 June 2018 Bright blue banners for al-Sadr's election alliance jostle for space along streets lined with martyr posters and images of al-Sadr and his father. Susannah George, Fox News, "Iraqi Shiite cleric gained ground with nationalist voice," 14 May 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for jostle

Last Updated

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for jostle

The first known use of jostle was in 1546

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More Definitions for jostle


How to pronounce jostle (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on jostle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jostle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jostle

Spanish Central: Translation of jostle

Nglish: Translation of jostle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jostle for Arabic Speakers

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