adjective, jump·i·er, jump·i·est.

subject to sudden, involuntary starts, especially from nervousness, fear, excitement, etc.
characterized by sudden starts, jerks, or jumps: a jumpy narrative.

Origin of jumpy

First recorded in 1865–70; jump + -y1
Related formsjump·i·ly, adverbjump·i·ness, noun

Synonyms for jumpy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jumpy

Contemporary Examples of jumpy

Historical Examples of jumpy

  • These books are only good to muddle your head and make you jumpy.


    Joseph Conrad

  • But Edna and Mrs. Pulsifer acted sort of restless and jumpy.

  • First off she's inclined to be nervous and jumpy and don't want to talk about Babe at all.

    Torchy and Vee

    Sewell Ford

  • When that condition bettered, and he began to feel again, he was nervous and jumpy.

  • Alan felt tense and jumpy, and hoped not too much of it showed.

    Starman's Quest

    Robert Silverberg

British Dictionary definitions for jumpy


adjective jumpier or jumpiest

nervous or apprehensive
moving jerkily or fitfully
Derived Formsjumpily, adverbjumpiness, noun
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 jumpy

"nervous," 1869, from jump (n.) + -y (2). Related: Jumpiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper