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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for jiffy

breath, crack, flash, moment, twinkling, second, shake, minute, trice, jiff

Examples from the Web for jiffy

Contemporary Examples of jiffy

Historical Examples of jiffy

  • Every other boy had jerked them down and chucked them under the counter in a jiffy.

  • It doesn't matter; we'll break the door down in a jiffy, anyway.

    The Dare Boys of 1776

    Stephen Angus Cox

  • The bottle was filled with kerosene, and in a jiffy the box was covered with the flame.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • Peter T. had 'em labeled the "Duchess" and "Irene dear" in a jiffy.

    Cape Cod Stories

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • I—I just stepped over 'cross the Lane for a jiffy, that's all.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for jiffy


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 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 jiffy


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.