• synonyms


  1. a large container usually made of earthenware, metal, or glass, commonly having a handle, a narrow neck, and sometimes a cap or cork.
  2. the contents of such a container; jugful: a jug of wine.
  3. Slang. jail; prison.
  4. jugs, Slang: Vulgar. a woman's breasts.
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verb (used with object), jugged, jug·ging.
  1. to put into a jug.
  2. to stew (meat) in an earthenware jug.
  3. Slang. to put in jail; imprison.
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Origin of jug1

1530–40; perhaps special use of Jug hypocoristic form of Joan, woman's name


  1. a sound made by a bird, especially a nightingale.
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verb (used without object), jugged, jug·ging.
  1. to make such a sound.
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Origin of jug2

First recorded in 1515–25; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for jugs


  1. a vessel for holding or pouring liquids, usually having a handle and a spout or lipUS equivalent: pitcher
  2. Australian and NZ such a vessel used as a kettlean electric jug
  3. US a large vessel with a narrow mouth
  4. Also called: jugful the amount of liquid held by a jug
  5. British informal a glass of alcoholic drink, esp beer
  6. a slang word for jail
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verb jugs, jugging or jugged
  1. to stew or boil (meat, esp hare) in an earthenware container
  2. (tr) slang to put in jail
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Word Origin

C16: probably from Jug, nickname from girl's name Joan
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 jugs



"deep vessel for carrying liquids," late 15c., jugge, variant of jubbe, of unknown origin, perhaps from jug "a low woman, a maidservant" (mid-16c.), a familiar alteration of a common personal name, Joan or Judith. Use as a musical instrument is attested from 1946. Jughead "klutz" is from 1926; jughandle "tight curved road used for turns" is from 1961. Jugs for "woman's breasts" first recorded 1920 in Australian slang, short for milk jugs.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper