verb (used without object)

to congeal; become jellylike in consistency.
to become clear, substantial, or definite; crystallize: The plan began to jell once we all met to discuss it.

verb (used with object)

to cause to jell.

Origin of jell

First recorded in 1820–30; back formation from jelly
Related formshalf-jelled, adjectiveun·jelled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jell

Historical Examples of jell

  • But Gwenny never had any cookies as good as those, and the jell is so pretty!

    The Girl Scouts at Home

    Katherine Keene Galt

  • There was a jar of jelly on the table all sealed up, and she said, "Won't you have some of the jell?"

    Mitch Miller

    Edgar Lee Masters

  • She came back again and said, "Won't you have some of the jell, Mr. Armstrong?"

    Mitch Miller

    Edgar Lee Masters

  • Why, there isn't an inch of me that hasn't been cut over or smashed into a jell.

    Suburban Sketches

    William Dean Howells

  • Cook slowly until juice will "jell" when tried on a cold plate.

British Dictionary definitions for jell



verb jells, jelling, jelled, gels, gelling or gelled

to make or become gelatinous; congeal
(intr) to assume definite formhis ideas have jelled


US an informal word for jelly 1

Word Origin for jell

C19: back formation from jelly 1
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 jell

1830, American English, probably a back-formation of jelly (v.). Related: Jelled; jelling. Figurative sense is first attested 1908. Middle English had gelen "congeal," but it disappeared 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper