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verb (used with object)
  1. to reject or cast aside (a lover or sweetheart), especially abruptly or unfeelingly.
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  1. a woman who jilts a lover.
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Origin of jilt

1650–60; earlier jilt harlot, syncopated variant of jillet
Related formsjilt·er, nounun·jilt·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples

British Dictionary definitions for jilter


  1. (tr) to leave or reject (a lover), esp without previous warningshe was jilted at the altar
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  1. a woman who jilts a lover
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Derived Formsjilter, noun

Word Origin

C17: from dialect jillet flighty girl, diminutive of proper name Gill
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 jilter



"to deceive (especially after holding out hopes), cheat, trick," 1660s, from the same source as jilt (n.). Related: Jilted; jilting.

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1670s, "loose, unchaste woman; harlot;" also "woman who gives hope then dashes it," perhaps ultimately from Middle English gille "lass, wench," a familiar or contemptuous term for a woman or girl (mid-15c.), originally a shortened form of woman's name Gillian (see Jill).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper