Definition of jelly in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɛli/

noun (plural jellies)

1 [mass noun] chiefly British A fruit-flavoured dessert made by warming and then cooling a liquid containing gelatin or a similar setting agent in a mould or dish so that it sets into a semi-solid, somewhat elastic mass: [as modifier]: a jelly mould
More example sentences
  • They made apple jelly with the apples from the orchard.
  • Tart lemon jelly and crumbly crumbles went very well together, I thought.
  • Pour the custard off and just eat the jelly.
1.1A substance with a jelly-like consistency made with fruit or other ingredients as a condiment: roast pheasant with redcurrant jelly
More example sentences
  • It came with a red pepper cassonade, crab ice cream and a sliver of passion fruit jelly.
  • For example, the process of creating jelly or jam from fruit was similar to pickling.
  • In this country port was as essential as redcurrant jelly, the two being combined in Francatelli's delicious sauce for venison.
1.2A savoury preparation with a jelly-like consistency made by boiling meat and bones.
Example sentences
  • There's hardly a bit of a pig you can't eat, from the head boiled up in a stewy soup to the trotters with their savoury jelly and morsels of meat.
  • It tasted like eating a hunk of quivering meat jelly.
  • Slow cooked, the sinew that makes meat tough becomes jelly.
1.3Any jelly-like substance: petroleum jelly
More example sentences
  • HIV positive women can use diaphragms and cervical caps for birth control, with spermicidal cream or jelly.
  • After peeling off outer skin, they polish it with castor oil, cactus jelly, curd, ghee and turmeric powder to make it smooth and slippery.
  • Spermicide comes as a foam, jelly, or cream, and kills sperm.
2A small sweet made with gelatin: a box of fruit jellies
More example sentences
  • The Blackburn-based company has bought the soft fruit jellies business of Penguin Confectionery in a £428,000 deal.
  • The jelly is contained in a dome-shaped plastic cup with a peel off foil lid.
  • It is entirely possible that the jelly sweet stuck to his finger while he wet his finger to shine the ball.
2.1British informal A tablet of the drug Temazepam.
Example sentences
  • Junkies die by injecting jellies into a vein, and they take it regularly as a come down from ecstasy or heroin.
  • There, it was speed and ecstasy, followed by Valium and jellies to come down.
3 US term for jam2.
4British informal Gelignite.
Example sentences
  • He later combined nitroglycerine with gun cotton to create a clear jelly, patented in 1867 as Blasting Gelatin.
  • But another reason for the raid was to test the use of Napon fire bombs containing a gasoline-based jelly.
5 (jellies) Jelly shoes.

verb (jellies, jellying, jellied)

[with object] (usually as adjective jellied)
Set (food) as or in a jelly: jellied cranberry sauce jellied eels
More example sentences
  • We make great jellied salads, and we're okay with calling them ‘salads’ even though there isn't one lick of lettuce in them.
  • Preserves are made of small, whole fruits or uniform-size pieces of fruits in a clear thick, slightly jellied syrup.
  • I started to sprinkle the pudding with some jellied candies, and happily hummed a song as I went about doing it.





verb (jellifies, jellifying, jellified)
Example sentences
  • And two of the individual tales, though hardly jellifying, are sufficiently well crafted to be memorably eerie.
  • This year, it seems, Adrià has become obsessed with jellifying ingredients, and with the sensuality of food.
  • Then dribble over a little warmed thick stock or aspic which will cool and jellify.


Example sentences
  • Since the external appearance was clear, viscous, and jelly-like, this can be attributed to the presence of a cubic phase.
  • Gradually, the layer of sand at the bottom began to disappear, and the water became a thick, jelly-like substance.
  • Some type of unidentified green liquid is added to the mix, turning the liquid tofu into a jelly-like substance after several minutes.


Late Middle English: from Old French gelee 'frost, jelly', from Latin gelata 'frozen', from gelare 'freeze', from gelu 'frost'.

  • In the Middle Ages jelly was a savoury dish of meat or fish set in a mould of aspic. The first references to fruit-flavoured jellies are not found until the late 18th century. The word comes ultimately from the Latin word gelare ‘to freeze’. See also cold

Words that rhyme with jelly

belly, Botticelli, casus belli, Corelli, Delhi, deli, Ellie, Grappelli, Kelly, lamellae, Machiavelli, Mahaweli, Schiaparelli, Shelley, shelly, smelly, tagliatelle, telly, Torricelli, vermicelli, welly, Zeffirelli

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: jelly

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