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[jam-buh-ree] /ˌdʒæm bəˈri/
a carousal; any noisy merrymaking.
a large gathering, as of a political party or the teams of a sporting league, often including a program of speeches and entertainment.
a large gathering of members of the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, usually nationwide or international in scope (distinguished from camporee).
Origin of jamboree
1860-65, Americanism; apparently blend of jabber and shivaree, with m from jam1 crowd Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for jamboree
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This cullud pusson will spend two months' wages to "report" at a grand junction "jamboree" of his "lodge."

    The Galaxy Various
  • Some of 186 them said they would rather not attend the jamboree at all!

  • They had delayed on the road to hold some jamboree of their own, and this lie about the white men was to account for their delay.

    The Pools of Silence H. de Vere Stacpoole
  • I can make allowance once in a while for the boys gettin' on a jamboree, but by Christmas!

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
  • “Until the jamboree is ended and all the fur is bought from the Huskies,” replied Rob, seriously.

  • I'll go somewhere an' finish my jamboree an' then I'll hit fer some fresh range.

    Prairie Flowers James B. Hendryx
  • My curiosity impelled me to accept the invitation to the "keg party" as such a jamboree was known among the students.

    Tramping on Life Harry Kemp
  • I reckon there ain't been such a jamboree in town for years.

    The Crossing Winston Churchill
  • Uncle Dick told me we would have to wait for our supplies until the general annual jamboree cooled down a little bit.

British Dictionary definitions for jamboree


a large and often international gathering of Scouts
a party or spree
Word Origin
C19: of uncertain 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
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Word Origin and History for jamboree

1866, represented as typical of American English, perhaps from jam (n.) on pattern of shivaree [Barnhart]. For the second element, Weekley suggests French bourree, a kind of rustic dance. Klein thinks the whole thing is of Hindu origin (but he credits its introduction to English, mistakenly, to Kipling). Boy Scouts use is from 1920. Noted earlier as a term in cribbage:

Jamboree signifies the combination of the five highest cards, as, for example, the two Bowers [jacks], Ace, King, and Queen of trumps in one hand, which entitles the holder to count sixteen points. The holder of such a hand, simply announces the fact, as no play is necessary; but should he play the hand as a Jambone, he can count only eight points, whereas he could count sixteen if he played it, or announced it as a Jamboree. ["The American Hoyle," New York, 1864]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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