noun, plural ja·lop·ies. Informal.

an old, decrepit, or unpretentious automobile.

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

Related Words for jalopy

heap, wreck, junker, rattletrap, clunker

Examples from the Web for jalopy

Historical Examples of jalopy

  • 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

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

    Code Three

    Rick Raphael

British Dictionary definitions for jalopy



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