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[juhm-pee] /ˈdʒʌm pi/
adjective, jumpier, jumpiest.
subject to sudden, involuntary starts, especially from nervousness, fear, excitement, etc.
characterized by sudden starts, jerks, or jumps:
a jumpy narrative.
Origin of jumpy
First recorded in 1865-70; jump + -y1
Related forms
jumpily, adverb
jumpiness, noun
1. jittery, skittish, fidgety. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for jumpy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is a frivolous, jumpy little tune, not at all the grave, dignified measure one would expect on such an occasion.

    Italian Letters of a Diplomat's Life Mary Alsop King Waddington
  • Alan felt tense and jumpy, and hoped not too much of it showed.

    Starman's Quest Robert Silverberg
  • Both Mrs. Crane and Julie tried to soothe him, but he was jumpy and his mouth twitched spasmodically.

    The Come Back Carolyn Wells
  • But Edna and Mrs. Pulsifer acted sort of restless and jumpy.

    Torchy, Private Sec. Sewell Ford
  • When I was a mass of bruises and aches, to say nothing of jumpy nerves.

    The Lady of the Basement Flat Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • First off she's inclined to be nervous and jumpy and don't want to talk about Babe at all.

    Torchy and Vee Sewell Ford
  • No jumpy, white-capped billows, no flying spray, no seasick passengers.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It certainly makes one jumpy to have one's relations in the army.

    A Patriotic Schoolgirl Angela Brazil
British Dictionary definitions for jumpy


adjective jumpier, jumpiest
nervous or apprehensive
moving jerkily or fitfully
Derived Forms
jumpily, adverb
jumpiness, noun
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 jumpy

"nervous," 1869, from jump (n.) + -y (2). Related: Jumpiness.

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



Nervous; apprehensive; jittery: One of our pals is jumpy and he needs a bodyguard tonight (1879+)

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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