Word of the Day : October 26, 2011


noun JIT-nee


1 : a small bus that carries passengers over a regular route on a flexible schedule

2 : an unlicensed taxicab

Did You Know?

Jitneys weren't worth a dime -- just a nickel. In the early 1900s, "jitney" was slang for "nickel," but it wasn't long before the term was applied to a new mode of public transportation that only cost a nickel. When they were introduced in American cities at the beginning of the century, vehicular jitneys could be any automobiles that carried passengers over a set route for a cheap fare, but eventually the term was applied specifically to small buses. In the mid-1900s, the word "jitney" was combined with "jeep" to create a new coinage: "jeepney," meaning "a Philippine jitney bus converted from a jeep."


After doing some shopping along the boardwalk, we boarded a jitney whose route took us back to our hotel.

"There is a certain kind of socialite who spends her summers in the Hamptons: perhaps the daughter of a Manhattan real estate millionaire or media magnate; maybe an intern at Vogue or Sotheby's who takes the jitney on Fridays to her parents' estate on Further Lane." -- From an article by Laura M. Holson in The New York Times, June 9, 2011

Test Your Vocabulary

What is the meaning of "jalopy"? The answer is ...


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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