verb (used without object)

to speak or shout derisively; scoff or gibe rudely: Don't jeer unless you can do better.

verb (used with object)

to shout derisively at; taunt.
to treat with scoffs or derision; mock.
to drive away by derisive shouts (followed by out of, off, etc.): They jeered the speaker off the stage.


a jeering utterance; derisive or rude gibe.

Origin of jeer

1555–65; origin uncertain; compare Old English cēir clamor, akin to cēgan to call out
Related formsjeer·er, nounjeer·ing·ly, adverbun·jeered, adjectiveun·jeer·ing, adjective

Synonyms for jeer

1. sneer; jest. See scoff1. 2, 3. deride, ridicule, flout, fleer.



noun Often jeers. Nautical.

any of various combinations of tackles for raising or lowering heavy yards.

Origin of jeer

First recorded in 1485–95; jee + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jeer

Historical Examples of jeer

  • It was as if every drop of blood in the wood had found a voice to jeer him with.

  • We passed four men, and their greeting was maddening in its jeer.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • Were these the people, then, who were going to jeer at his picture, provided it were found again?

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • The girl's defiant attitude only incited the workmen to jeer the more.

  • Mayhap, then, you'll come on deck and tell these merry men as much, for they do only jeer at me.

    Standish of Standish

    Jane G. Austin

British Dictionary definitions for jeer



(often foll by at) to laugh or scoff (at a person or thing); mock


a remark or cry of derision; gibe; taunt
Derived Formsjeerer, nounjeering, adjective, nounjeeringly, adverb

Word Origin for jeer

C16: 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 jeer

1550s, gyr, "to deride, to mock," of uncertain origin; perhaps from Dutch gieren "to cry or roar," or German scheren "to plague, vex," literally "to shear." OED finds the suggestion that it is an ironical use of cheer "plausible and phonetically feasible, ... but ... beyond existing evidence." Related: Jeered; jeering.


1620s, from jeer (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper