Definition of kibitzer
- a kibitzer at a card game
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
a nosy kibitzer who always knows who is dating whom
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kibitzer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The Yiddish language has given English some particularly piquant terms over the years, and "kibitzer" (or "kibbitzer") is one such term. "Kibitzer," spelled "kibitser" in Yiddish, came to that language from the German word kiebitzen, meaning "to look on (at cards)." "Kiebitzen" may or may not be derived from a German word for "lapwing," a type of bird noted for its shrill and raucous cry. (We can speculate that the bird’s cry reminded people of the shrill commentary of onlookers at card games.) The word became more popular and widespread after the 1929 play The Kibitzer came out. Although "kibitzer" usually implies the imparting of unwanted advice, there is a respectable body of evidence for a kibitzer as a person simply making comments.
What made you want to look up kibitzer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Confusing Words—A Quiz