Definition of jaywalk in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈdʒeɪwɔːk/


[no object, with adverbial of direction] chiefly North American
Cross or walk in the street or road unlawfully or without regard for approaching traffic: you jaywalked across a busy four-lane street
More example sentences
  • Then you might as well forget about walking to the traffic lights and just jaywalk in the middle of the street.
  • People are always in the street, crossing against the light or jaywalking across even busy avenues or through stopped traffic.
  • A taxi honked loudly as a scattering of pedestrians jaywalked across the street, myself included.



Pronunciation: /ˈdʒeɪwɔːkə/
Example sentences
  • To be sure, jaywalkers put themselves and others at risk, and they can tie up traffic, but jaywalking is hardly the kind of offense that merits being maced.
  • The provision of pedestrian underpass between Kempegowda bus stand and the City railway station, some years ago, has kept the roads free of jaywalkers, but the intensity of traffic has been increasing.
  • The police here have figured out that, instead of targeting two-wheelers, cars, auto rickshaws, buses and lorries, many accidents can be avoided if jaywalkers are kept off roads.


Early 20th century: from jay in the colloquial sense 'silly person' + walk.

  • The ‘jay’ in the word is the same as the bird, which has been used colloquially to mean ‘silly person’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: jay|walk

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.