• synonyms


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with or without object), gybed, gyb·ing, noun
  1. jibe1.
Can be confusedgibe gybe jib jibe jive


or gibe, gybe, jib, jibb

verb (used without object), jibed, jib·ing.
  1. to shift from one side to the other when running before the wind, as a fore-and-aft sail or its boom.
  2. to alter course so that a fore-and-aft sail shifts in this manner.
verb (used with object), jibed, jib·ing.
  1. to cause to jibe.
  1. the act of jibing.

Origin of jibe1

1685–95; variant of gybe < Dutch gijben, more commonly gijpen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gybe

Historical Examples

  • So they ran before it largely till the bows were pressed right under, and it was no human poser that saved the gybe.

    Hills and the Sea

    H. Belloc

  • Gybe, or Jibe, to; to shift over the boom of a fore-and-aft sail.

  • The Phantom had to come about, and get on the right tack, for Guilford was too careful to gybe in that wind.

    The Yacht Club

    Oliver Optic

British Dictionary definitions for gybe



  1. (intr) (of a fore-and-aft sail) to shift suddenly from one side of the vessel to the other when running before the wind, as the result of allowing the wind to catch the leech
  2. to cause (a sailing vessel) to gybe or (of a sailing vessel) to undergo gybing
  1. an instance of gybing

Word Origin

C17: from obsolete Dutch gijben (now gijpen), of obscure origin


jib or jibb (dʒɪb)

verb, noun
  1. nautical variants of gybe


  1. a variant spelling of gibe 1
Derived Formsjiber, nounjibingly, adverb


  1. (intr) informal to agree; accord; harmonize

Word Origin

C19: of unknown origin
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

Word Origin and History for gybe

alternative spelling of jibe.



"agree, fit," 1813, of unknown origin, perhaps a figurative extension of earlier jib, gybe (v.) "shift a sail or boom" (see jib). OED, however, suggests a phonetic variant of chime, as if meaning "to chime in with, to be in harmony." Related: Jibed; jibes; jibing.



1560s, perhaps from Middle French giber "to handle roughly," or an alteration of gaber "to mock."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.