ki·​bitz | \ ˈki-bəts How to pronounce kibitz (audio) , kə-ˈbits How to pronounce kibitz (audio) \
variants: or less commonly kibbitz
kibitzed also kibbitzed; kibitzing also kibbitzing; kibitzes also kibbitzes

Definition of kibitz

intransitive verb

1 : to act as a kibitzer
2 : to exchange comments : chat

transitive verb

: to observe as a kibitzer especially : to be a kibitzer at kibitz a card game

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Examples of kibitz in a Sentence

They sat around kibitzing about their children. My uncle likes to kibitz when I play poker with my cousins. He likes to kibitz our poker games.
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First Known Use of kibitz

1927, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for kibitz

borrowed from Yiddish kibetsn or German kiebitzen "to look on (at a card game)," both borrowed from Rotwelsch (German underworld argot) kiebitschen, chippischen, gippischen "(of the police) to search out, patrol," of obscure origin

Note: In passage from Rotwelsch to ordinary vernaculars, there has presumably been a jocular transfer in sense from the undesirable observation of underworld activity by the police to observation of a more innocent activity such as a game. Corresponding to the Rotwelsch verb is a noun Kiewisch, Gippisch, Kippisch, etc., "police search, investigation, patrol," attested slightly earlier, perhaps first (as Gippisch, Geppisch) in a vocabulary appended to Alphabetisches Verzeichnis einer Anzahl von Räubern, Dieben und Vagabonden (Hamburg, 1814), by a Danish police official, H.C. Christensen, based on an investigation carried out in Kiel in 1811-12. Neither the German or Yiddish words or their Rotwelsch source have any plausible connection to German Kiebitz "lapwing" other than by secondary association.

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Time Traveler for kibitz

The first known use of kibitz was in 1927

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English Language Learners Definition of kibitz

US, informal
: to talk to someone in a friendly and informal way
: to watch other people and make unwanted comments about what they are doing

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More from Merriam-Webster on kibitz

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kibitz

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kibitz

Spanish Central: Translation of kibitz

Nglish: Translation of kibitz for Spanish Speakers

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