jay

1
[jey]
See more synonyms for jay on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. any of several noisy, vivacious birds of the crow family, subfamily Garrulinae, as the crested Garrulus glandarius, of the Old World, having brownish plumage with blue, black, and white barring on the wings.Compare blue jay, gray jay.
  2. Informal. a simpleminded or gullible person.

Origin of jay

1
1275–35; Middle English jai < Middle French < Late Latin gāius, gāia, perhaps after Latin Gāius man's name

jay

2
[jey]
noun Slang.
  1. a marijuana cigarette.

Origin of jay

2
1970–75; probably spelling of initial consonant of joint, perhaps suggested by Pig Latin version ointjay

Jay

[jey]
noun
  1. John,1745–1829, U.S. statesman and jurist: first chief justice of the U.S. 1789–95.
  2. a male given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for jay

chump, cinch, mark, mug, patsy, pushover, scapegoat, sucker, doormat, jay, pigeon

Examples from the Web for jay

Contemporary Examples of jay

Historical Examples of jay

  • We admire the brilliant plumage of the jay, cardinal and goldfinch.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

  • More common in my region than the jay or the cardinal is the red-eyed vireo.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

  • "You have not told me," said Jay Gardiner, gallantly, as he bent forward.

    Jolly Sally Pendleton

    Laura Jean Libbey

  • She did not wonder now that Jay Gardiner had given his heart to her.

    Jolly Sally Pendleton

    Laura Jean Libbey

  • Jay Gardiner was surprised for an instant; but it was only for an instant.

    Jolly Sally Pendleton

    Laura Jean Libbey


British Dictionary definitions for jay

jay

noun
  1. any of various passerine birds of the family Corvidae (crows), esp the Eurasian Garrulus glandarius, with a pinkish-brown body, blue-and-black wings, and a black-and-white crestSee also blue jay
  2. a foolish or gullible person

Word Origin for jay

C13: from Old French jai, from Late Latin gāius, perhaps from proper name Gāius

Jay

noun
  1. John 1745–1829, American statesman, jurist, and diplomat; first chief justice of the Supreme Court (1789–95). He negotiated the treaty with Great Britain (Jay's treaty, 1794), that settled outstanding disputes
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 jay
n.

c.1300, common European bird (Garrulus glandarinus), from Old North French gai, Old French jai "magpie, jay," from Late Latin gaius "a jay," probably echoic and supposedly influenced by Latin Gaius, a common Roman proper name. For other bird names from proper names, cf. martin and parrot. Applied to the North American blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) from 1709. Applied to humans in sense of "impertinent chatterer, flashy dresser" from 1620s.

adj.

"fourth-rate, worthless" (e.g. a jay town), 1888, American English, apparently from some disparaging sense of jay (n.). Perhaps from a decaying or ironical use of jay "flashy dresser."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper