See more synonyms for jive on Thesaurus.com
  1. swing music or early jazz.
  2. the jargon associated with swing music and early jazz.
  3. Slang. deceptive, exaggerated, or meaningless talk: Don't give me any of that jive!
verb (used without object), jived, jiv·ing.
  1. to play jive.
  2. to dance to jive; jitterbug.
  3. Slang. to engage in kidding, teasing, or exaggeration.
verb (used with object), jived, jiv·ing.
  1. Slang. to tease; fool; kid: Stop jiving me!
  1. Slang. insincere, pretentious, or deceptive.

Origin of jive

1920–25; origin obscure; alleged to be an alteration of gibe1, though the shift in sense and phonetic change are unexplained
Related formsjiv·er, noun
Can be confusedgibe gybe jib jibe jive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for jive


  1. a style of lively and jerky dance performed to jazz and, later, to rock and roll, popular esp in the 1940s and 1950s
  2. Also called: jive talk a variety of American slang spoken chiefly by Black people, esp jazz musicians
    1. slang, mainly USdeliberately misleading or deceptive talk
    2. (as modifier)jive talk
  1. (intr) to dance the jive
  2. slang, mainly US to mislead; tell lies (to)
Derived Formsjiver, noun

Word Origin for jive

C20: 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 jive

1928, "to deceive playfully," also "empty, misleading talk" (n.) and "a style of fast, lively jazz and dance music," American English, from Black English, probably of African origin (cf. Wolof jev, jeu "talk about someone absent, especially in a disparaging manner"). Related: Jived; jiving. Used from 1938 for "New York City African-American slang."


"agree," 1943, apparently a mistake for jibe (q.v.).


"not acting right," 1969, U.S. black English, from jive (n.) (see jive (1)). Extended form jive-ass (1964, adj.; 1969, n.) is defined in OED as "A word of fluid meaning and application."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper