[jing-guh l]
verb (used without object), jin·gled, jin·gling.
  1. to make clinking or tinkling sounds, as do coins, keys, or other light, resonant metal objects when coming into contact or being struck together repeatedly: The keys on his belt jingled as he walked.
  2. to move or proceed with such sounds: The sleigh, decorated with bells, jingled along the snowy road.
  3. to sound in a light, repetitious manner suggestive of this, as verse, a sequence of words, or piece of music.
  4. to make rhymes.
verb (used with object), jin·gled, jin·gling.
  1. to cause to jingle: He jingled the coins in his pocket.
  1. a tinkling or clinking sound, as of small bells or of small pieces of resonant metal repeatedly struck one against another.
  2. something that makes such a sound, as a small bell or a metal pendant.
  3. a catchy succession of like or repetitious sounds, as in music or verse.
  4. a piece of verse or a short song having such a catchy succession of sounds, usually of a light or humorous character: an advertising jingle.
  5. Irish English and Australian. a loosely sprung, two-wheeled, roofed carriage, usually used as a hackney coach.

Origin of jingle

1350–1400; Middle English gynglen, apparently imitative; compare Dutch jengelen; see -le
Related formsjin·gler, nounjin·gling·ly, adverbjin·gly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for jingly

Historical Examples of jingly

  • It is a magnificent bridle, as shiny and jingly as any lad could desire.

    The Prairie Child

    Arthur Stringer

  • The instrument was old, and though the notes rang true, they were faint and jingly.

  • Grant wished him to take English lancers, but Roberts said Englishmen were too noisy and jingly, and helpless if separated.

    The Disputed V.C.

    Frederick P. Gibbon

  • A few squirrels darted from the earth and disappeared as mysteriously before the jingly mules.

  • The sallow-faced clock that hung above the mirror that backed the bar, jerked out one jingly strike, a half hour.

    Three Soldiers

    John Dos Passos

British Dictionary definitions for jingly


  1. to ring or cause to ring lightly and repeatedly
  2. (intr) to sound in a manner suggestive of jinglinga jingling verse
  1. a sound of metal jinglingthe jingle of the keys
  2. a catchy and rhythmic verse, song, etc, esp one used in advertising
Derived Formsjingler, nounjingly, adjective

Word Origin for jingle

C16: probably of imitative origin; compare Dutch jengelen
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 jingly



late 14c., gingeln, of imitative origin (cf. Dutch jengelen, German klingeln). Related: Jingled; jingling.



1590s, from jingle (v.). Meaning "song in an advertisement" first attested 1930, from earlier sense of "catchy array of words in prose or verse" (1640s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper