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[jel] /dʒɛl/
verb (used without object)
to congeal; become jellylike in consistency.
to become clear, substantial, or definite; crystallize:
The plan began to jell once we all met to discuss it.
verb (used with object)
to cause to jell.
Origin of jell
First recorded in 1820-30; back formation from jelly
Related forms
half-jelled, adjective
unjelled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for jell


verb jells, jelling, jelled, gels, gelling, gelled
to make or become gelatinous; congeal
(intransitive) to assume definite form: his ideas have jelled
(US) an informal word for jelly1
Word Origin
C19: back formation from jelly1
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 jell

1830, American English, probably a back-formation of jelly (v.). Related: Jelled; jelling. Figurative sense is first attested 1908. Middle English had gelen "congeal," but it disappeared 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for jell



  1. To come to a firm and useful form; work: In this highly partisan county, it just didn't gel/ If this doesn't gel, the local people will be stuck/ Frost's saga fails to jell either as compelling drama or convincing social portraiture (1950s+)
  2. (also jell out) To relax; chill out, kick back: After having five hours of class today I think I'll just go home and gel (1980s+ Students)

[second sense perhaps fr the notion of productively sitting still as a gelatin pudding does]

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