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[uh-jahr] /əˈdʒɑr/
adjective, adverb
neither entirely open nor entirely shut; partly open:
The door was ajar.
Origin of ajar1
1350-1400; Middle English on char on the turn; see a-1, char3


[uh-jahr] /əˈdʒɑr/
adverb, adjective
in contradiction to; at variance with:
a story ajar with the facts.
1545-55; for at jar at discord; cf. jar3 (noun) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ajar
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The door was ajar, and he stepped into a little hall covered with ingrain carpet.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Then, as the door of the first reception-room was ajar, he at last ventured in.

  • It was broad daylight, and the door leading into the prim little hall was ajar.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • The hall door was ajar, and when I pushed it open, no one was in the hall.

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
  • The landing at the top was dark, but the door at the rear was ajar.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • There was another door at the end of the passage, and this was ajar.

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • The side door of the house was ajar and she opened it softly and entered.

    Keziah Coffin Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for ajar


adjective, adverb (postpositive)
(esp of a door or window) slightly open
Word Origin
C18: altered form of obsolete on char, literally: on the turn; char, from Old English cierran to turn


(postpositive) not in harmony
Word Origin
C19: altered form of at jar at discord. See jar²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ajar

1718, perhaps from Scottish dialectal a char "slightly open," earlier on char (early 16c.), from Middle English char, from Old English cier "a turn."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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