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See more synonyms for jiffy on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural jif·fies. Informal.
  1. a very short time; moment: to get dressed in a jiffy.
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Also jiff [jif] /dʒɪf/.

Origin of jiffy

First recorded in 1770–80; origin uncertain


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for jiff

Historical Examples

  • You go an' wash your 'ands, an' I'll 'ave your dinner up in 'alf a jiff!

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • "Begorra, but ye are right, Jiff," was the hearty response of the Irishman.

    Klondike Nuggets

    E. S. Ellis

  • Mrs. Jiff always “forgot to bring” her own comb and hair brush.

    Ruth Hall

    Fanny Fern

  • I'll be back in a jiff, and supper'll be ready's soon I can git it.

  • “Some of the hands would like to see you for half a jiff, Mr. Wade,” said he.

British Dictionary definitions for jiff


jiff (dʒɪf)

noun plural jiffies or jiffs
  1. informal a very short timewait a jiffy
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Word Origin

C18: 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 jiff


1797, short for jiffy.

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1785, "a moment, an instant," colloquial, origin unknown; said to be originally thieves' slang for "lightning."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with jiff


see under in a flash.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.