[ juh-lop-ee ]
/ dʒəˈlɒp i /

noun, plural ja·lop·ies. Informal.

an old, decrepit, or unpretentious automobile.

Nearby words

  1. jalapeno,
  2. jalapeño,
  3. jalapin,
  4. jalee,
  5. jalisco,
  6. jalor,
  7. jalouse,
  8. jalousie,
  9. jam,
  10. jam nut

Origin of jalopy

An Americanism dating back to 1925–30; origin uncertain

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

Examples from the Web for jalopy

  • Then they hit the thruway—nine of them packed into the jalopy—the oldest one just seventeen years old.

    Code Three|Rick Raphael
  • It looked something like a cross between a schoolboy's jalopy and a scaled-down army tank of former times.

    Badge of Infamy|Lester del Rey

British Dictionary definitions for jalopy



/ (dʒəˈlɒpɪ) /

noun plural -lopies or -loppies

informal a dilapidated old car

Word Origin for jalopy

C20: of unknown origin

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 jalopy



"battered old automobile," 1924 (early variants include jaloupy, jaloppi, gillopy), of unknown origin; perhaps from Jalapa, Mexico, where many U.S. used cars supposedly were sent (see jalapeno).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper