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[jilt] /dʒɪlt/
verb (used with object)
to reject or cast aside (a lover or sweetheart), especially abruptly or unfeelingly.
a woman who jilts a lover.
Origin of jilt
1650-60; earlier jilt harlot, syncopated variant of jillet
Related forms
jilter, noun
unjilted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for jilting
Historical Examples
  • For an instant, Laurent had the idea of not marrying at all, of jilting Therese.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • I suppose she did it to show she didn't mind Frederik's jilting her.'

  • Darling, I wonder if jilting runs in families like consumption and red faces.

    Dodo's Daughter E. F. Benson
  • "There is no question of jilting Lady Kitty," he answered steadily.

    The Quiver 12/1899 Anonymous
  • "There will be no jilting about the matter," replied Dr. Marsh irritably.

    A Woman's Burden Fergus Hume
  • Folks say Ellen has jilted him just to get square with him for jilting her ages ago.

    Rainbow Valley Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Would I, her daughter, break my word, would I dishonour myself by jilting a man I had pledged myself to marry?

    Annie Besant Annie Besant
  • I should not like my daughter to begin life by jilting an honest man for the sake of a pretty toy soldier like Alexander.

    Paul Patoff

    F. Marion Crawford
  • "It is a case of jilting," he said to himself, and he took up a letter which he had received from Florence that morning.

    The Time of Roses

    L. T. Meade
  • "She has gone to those Fellingham people; and she may be thinking of jilting us," Mrs. Cavely said.

British Dictionary definitions for jilting


(transitive) to leave or reject (a lover), esp without previous warning: she was jilted at the altar
a woman who jilts a lover
Derived Forms
jilter, noun
Word Origin
C17: from dialect jillet flighty girl, diminutive of proper name Gill
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 jilting



"to deceive (especially after holding out hopes), cheat, trick," 1660s, from the same source as jilt (n.). Related: Jilted; jilting.



1670s, "loose, unchaste woman; harlot;" also "woman who gives hope then dashes it," perhaps ultimately from Middle English gille "lass, wench," a familiar or contemptuous term for a woman or girl (mid-15c.), originally a shortened form of woman's name Gillian (see Jill).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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