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jinx

[jingks]
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noun
  1. a person, thing, or influence supposed to bring bad luck.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to bring bad luck to; place a jinx on: The strike has jinxed my plans to go to Milwaukee for the weekend.
  2. to destroy the point of: His sudden laugh jinxed the host's joke.
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Origin of jinx

1910–15, Americanism; perhaps < Latin jynx wryneck (bird used in divination and magic) < Greek íynx
Related formsout·jinx, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for jinx

jinx

noun
  1. an unlucky or malevolent force, person, or thing
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verb
  1. (tr) to be or put a jinx on
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Word Origin

C20: perhaps from New Latin Jynx genus name of the wryneck, from Greek iunx wryneck, the name of a bird used in magic
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 jinx

n.

1911, American English, originally baseball slang; perhaps ultimately from jyng "a charm, a spell" (17c.), originally "wryneck," a bird used in witchcraft and divination, from Latin iynx "wryneck," from Greek iynx.

Most mysterious of all in the psychics of baseball is the "jinx," that peculiar "hoodoo" which affects, at times, a man, at other times a whole team. Let a man begin to think that there is a "jinx" about, and he is done for for the time being. ["Technical World Magazine," 1911]

The verb is 1912 in American English, from the noun. Related: Jinxed; jinxing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper