Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[jey-wawk] /ˈdʒeɪˌwɔk/
verb (used without object)
to cross a street at a place other than a regular crossing or in a heedless manner, as diagonally or against a traffic light.
Origin of jaywalk
An Americanism dating back to 1915-20; jay1 + walk
Related forms
jaywalker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for jaywalking
Contemporary Examples
British Dictionary definitions for jaywalking


(intransitive) to cross or walk in a street recklessly or illegally
Derived Forms
jaywalker, noun
jaywalking, noun
Word Origin
C20: from jay (sense 2)
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for jaywalking

by 1912, American English (said in original citation to be a Kansas City term), from jay, perhaps with notion of boldness and impudence. Related: Jaywalk; jaywalker.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for jaywalking



To walk into or across a street at a forbidden place or without the right of way

[1916+; fr the naive behavior of a jay, ''rustic'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for jaywalking

Word Value for jaywalking

Scrabble Words With Friends