verb (used without object)

to cross a street at a place other than a regular crossing or in a heedless manner, as diagonally or against a traffic light.

Origin of jaywalk

An Americanism dating back to 1915–20; jay1 + walk
Related formsjay·walk·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of jaywalking

British Dictionary definitions for jaywalking



(intr) to cross or walk in a street recklessly or illegally
Derived Formsjaywalker, nounjaywalking, noun

Word Origin for jaywalk

C20: from jay (sense 2)
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 jaywalking

by 1912, American English (said in original citation to be a Kansas City term), from jay, perhaps with notion of boldness and impudence. Related: Jaywalk; jaywalker.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper