- a rapid, lively, springy, irregular dance for one or more persons, usually in triple meter.
- a piece of music for or in the rhythm of such a dance.
- Obsolete. prank; trick.
- to dance (a jig or any lively dance).
- to sing or play in the time or rhythm of a jig: to jig a tune.
- to move with a jerky or bobbing motion; jerk up and down or to and fro.
- to dance or play a jig.
- to move with a quick, jerky motion; hop; bob.
- in jig time, Informal. with dispatch; rapidly: We sorted the mail in jig time.
- the jig is up, Slang. it is hopeless; no chance remains: When the burglar heard the police siren, he knew the jig was up.
Origin of jig2
- any of several old rustic kicking and leaping dances
- a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance, usually in six-eight time
- a mechanical device designed to hold and locate a component during machining and to guide the cutting tool
- angling any of various spinning lures that wobble when drawn through the water
- Also called: jigger mining a device for separating ore or coal from waste material by agitation in water
- obsolete a joke or prank
- to dance (a jig)
- to jerk or cause to jerk up and down rapidly
- (often foll by up) to fit or be fitted in a jig
- (tr) to drill or cut (a workpiece) in a jig
- mining to separate ore or coal from waste material using a jig
- (intr) to produce or manufacture a jig
- Australian slang to play truant from school
Word Origin and History for jig-is-up
"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.