[ kib-its ]
/ ˈkɪb ɪts /

verb (used without object)

to act as a kibitzer.

verb (used with object)

to offer advice or criticism to as a kibitzer: to kibitz the team from the bleachers.

Nearby words

  1. kibbutznik,
  2. kibe,
  3. kibei,
  4. kibi-,
  5. kibitka,
  6. kibitzer,
  7. kiblah,
  8. kibosh,
  9. kick,
  10. kick a habit

Origin of kibitz

1925–30, Americanism; < Yiddish kibetsn, equivalent to German kiebitzen to look on at cards, derivative of Kiebitz busybody, literally, lapwing, plover

Can be confusedkibbutz kibitz Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kibitz

  • But as those early weeks passed, the opportunity to kibitz never presented itself.

    "Dave's Whipping Boy"|Paul Shaffer|October 2, 2009|DAILY BEAST
  • He waved a greeting to the desk sergeant and went over to kibitz the card game.

    The Circuit Riders|R. C. FitzPatrick

British Dictionary definitions for kibitz


/ (ˈkɪbɪts) /


(intr) US and Canadian informal to interfere or offer unwanted advice, esp as a spectator at a card game
Derived Formskibitzer, noun

Word Origin for kibitz

C20: from Yiddish kibitzen, from German kiebitzen to be an onlooker, from Kiebitz busybody, literally: plover

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 kibitz



1927, from Yiddish kibitsen "to offer gratuitous advice as an outsider," from German kiebitzen "to look on at cards, to kibitz," originally in thieves' cant "to visit," from Kiebitz, name of a shore bird (European pewit, lapwing) with a folk reputation as a meddler, from Middle High German gibitz "pewit," imitative of its cry. Young lapwings are proverbially precocious and active, and were said to run around with half-shells still on their heads soon after hatching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper