[ jib ]
/ dʒɪb /

noun Nautical.

any of various triangular sails set forward of a forestaysail or fore-topmast staysail.Compare flying jib, inner jib.
the inner one of two such sails, set inward from a flying jib.


of or relating to a jib: jib clew.

Nearby words

  1. jiao,
  2. jiaozhou,
  3. jiaozhou bay,
  4. jiaozuo,
  5. jiayi,
  6. jib boom,
  7. jib crane,
  8. jib-headed,
  9. jibaro,
  10. jibba


    cut of one's jib, one's general appearance, mien, or manner: I could tell by the cut of his jib that he wasn't the kind of person I'd want to deal with.

Origin of jib

First recorded in 1655–65; origin uncertain

Can be confusedgibe gybe jib jibe jive

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for cut of one's jib


/ (dʒɪb) /


nautical any triangular sail set forward of the foremast of a vessel
cut of someone's jib someone's manner, behaviour, style, etc
  1. the lower lip, usually when it protrudes forwards in a grimace
  2. the face or nose

Word Origin for jib

C17: of unknown origin


/ (dʒɪb) /

verb jibs, jibbing or jibbed (intr) mainly British

(often foll by at) to be reluctant (to); hold back (from); balk (at)
(of an animal) to stop short and refuse to go forwardsthe horse jibbed at the jump
nautical variant of gybe
Derived Formsjibber, noun

Word Origin for jib

C19: of unknown origin


/ (dʒɪb) /


the projecting arm of a crane or the boom of a derrick, esp one that is pivoted to enable it to be raised or lowered

Word Origin for jib

C18: probably based on gibbet


/ (dʒɪb) /


(often plural) South Wales dialect a contortion of the face; a facestop making jibs

Word Origin for jib

special use of jib 1 (in the sense: lower lip, face)

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 cut of one's jib



"foresail of a ship," 1660s, gibb, of uncertain origin, perhaps related to gibbet, from notion of a sail "hanging" from a masthead [Barnhart, OED]. Or perhaps from jib (v.) "shift a sail or boom" (1690s), from Dutch gijben, apparently related to gijk "boom or spar of a sailing ship." Said to indicate a ship's character to an observant sailor as a strange vessel approaches at sea; also nautical slang for "face," hence cut of (one's) jib "personal appearance" (1821).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with cut of one's jib

cut of one's jib

One's general appearance or personality, as in I don't like the cut of Ben's jib. In the 17th century the shape of the jib sail often identified a vessel's nationality, and hence whether it was hostile or friendly. The term was being used figuratively by the early 1800s, often to express like or dislike for someone.


see cut of one's jib

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.