jig

1
[ jig ]
/ dʒɪg /

noun

verb (used with object), jigged, jig·ging.

to treat, cut, produce, etc., with a jig.

verb (used without object), jigged, jig·ging.

to use a jig.
to fish with a jig.

Origin of jig

1
1855–60; probably akin to jig2, in sense “jerk to and fro”; orig. and interrelationship of this group of words uncertain

Definition for jig (2 of 4)

jig

2
[ jig ]
/ dʒɪg /

noun

verb (used with object), jigged, jig·ging.

verb (used without object), jigged, jig·ging.

to dance or play a jig.
to move with a quick, jerky motion; hop; bob.

Origin of jig

2
1550–60; in earliest sense “kind of dance” perhaps < Middle French giguer to frolic, gambol, probably < an unattested WGmc verb (cf. gig1); semantic development of other senses unclear
Related formsjig·like, jig·gish, adjective

Definition for jig (3 of 4)

jig

3
[ jig ]
/ dʒɪg /

noun

(formerly used in communications to represent the letter J.)

Definition for jig (4 of 4)

jig

4
[ jig ]
/ dʒɪg /

noun Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.

a contemptuous term used to refer to a black person.

Origin of jig

4
1920–25, Americanism; of uncertain origin; cf. jigaboo
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jig

  • "Divil a-man in the five parishes can dance 'Jig Polthogue' wid him, for all that," said Barny.

  • A notable 'jig' was that called 'Schanke's Ordinary,' in which several performers took part.

    South London|Sir Walter Besant
  • "I don't know how to 'jig,' but it's delightful to look on," she answered merrily.

    What Katy Did Next|Susan Coolidge

British Dictionary definitions for jig

jig

/ (dʒɪɡ) /

noun

verb jigs, jigging or jigged

Word Origin for jig

C16 (originally: a dance or the music for it; applied to various modern devices because of the verbal sense: to jerk up and down rapidly): 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 jig

jig


n.

"lively dance," 1560s, perhaps related to Middle French giguer "to dance," or to the source of German Geige "violin." Meaning "piece of sport, trick" is 1590s, now mainly in phrase the jig is up (first attested 1777 as the jig is over). As a verb from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper