noun, plural jif·fies. Informal.

a very short time; moment: to get dressed in a jiffy.

Also jiff [jif] /dʒɪf/.

Origin of jiffy

First recorded in 1770–80; origin uncertain

Synonyms for jiffy

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Historical Examples of jiff

British Dictionary definitions for jiff


jiff (dʒɪf)

noun plural jiffies or jiffs

informal a very short timewait a jiffy

Word Origin for jiffy

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.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with jiff


see under in a flash.

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