Definition of jive in English:


Line breaks: jive
Pronunciation: /dʒʌɪv


1A lively style of dance popular especially in the 1940s and 1950s, performed to swing music or rock and roll.
More example sentences
  • She'd added a little jazz to her dance this time, some quicksteps and jives.
  • In a hurly-burly whirl of tunes and groovy jives, Macbeth: The Rock Opera, which puts on its final performance at the Guild Theatre tonight, is rocking audiences, young and old.
  • Now, jobs figures still aren't dancing the jive yet, but prices are spiraling higher and higher, mocking the Fed's directorate for central planning.
1.1 [mass noun] Swing music.
More example sentences
  • The concerts have featured internationally renowned bands playing music as diverse as African dance music, ska, jive, salsa and Bhangra.
  • Off ice, she listens to all kinds of music but prefers jive and hip-hop.
  • Miller's distinctive big band timbre is the sound of a generation: swing and jive, romance and sweet sentiment, people and places.
1.2 [mass noun] A style of dance music popular in South Africa: township jive
More example sentences
  • Most popular music, however, tends to come from South Africa, with its rich history of township jive.
  • But what he found when he went to Johannesburg convinced him that an entire album could be built around township jive.
  • It is going to be a musical weekend this Easter, with classical music by the orchestra and township jive at Windybrow.
2 (also jive talk) [mass noun] A form of slang associated with black American jazz musicians.
More example sentences
  • With a name full of jargon jive and a cast of unknown comedians and aspiring actors, this marketed as a hip urban comedy sounds like a prescription for disaster.
  • Rarely is such a degree of lingua franca phrasing, of jazzy jive, to be found in his film reviews, and it is utterly absent from ‘Hollywood's Gift’.
  • Audrey II has started to talk and not just talk, but Shaft-like jive talk.
2.1North American informal Deceptive or worthless talk: a single image says more than any amount of blather and jive
More example sentences
  • It's also faster, although, as Smith says, a coyote may have more ‘jukes and jives.’
  • Yes, this film where Bachchan plays a millionaire whose riches and jives are only matched by Irani, is actually a father-son tale.
  • A popular jive at that time was ‘If the enemy comes, he will be drowned by the saliva of us.’


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1 [no object] Perform the jive or a similar dance to popular music: people were jiving in the aisles
More example sentences
  • By midnight, everyone was on the dance floor, jiving to a number Archie knew he'd heard several times, but couldn't quite place a name on.
  • Everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves, dancing and jiving about.
  • Last October, the band had the audience jiving on the dance floor and helped raise more than £2,000 for Kingston Hospital's cancer unit appeal.
2 [with object] North American informal Taunt or sneer at: Willy kept jiving him until Jimmy left
More example sentences
  • And Johnson has some advice for people aspiring to a comfortable living playing music: ‘I've set it in my mind that I will not jive anybody, and not be jived by anybody.’
  • I turned the corner and, I jive you not, the first person I saw was Lamps.
2.1 [no object] Talk nonsense: he wasn’t jiving about that bartender
More example sentences
  • The very nature of God-given expression makes room for people to hum, pluck, and jive while giving concerns over society's woes.
  • The fact that Colmes, who is demonstrably brighter than that, can sit there and shuck and jive with this fool says a lot about him.


North American informal Back to top  
Deceitful or worthless.
More example sentences
  • We all still have Zoidberg, but we all are jive turkeys.
  • But it's still a big jive turkey in need of a valuable lesson.


1920s (originally US denoting meaningless or misleading speech): of unknown origin; the later musical sense 'jazz' gave rise to 'dance performed to jazz' (1940s).



More example sentences
  • And it's good to go while the getting is good, but Miss Wolff has bad news for her friends and fellow country fans, rockabilly retro-ists and would-be jivers.
  • In a night of unprecedented nostalgia the rockers, the jivers and the waltzers descended on the ‘ballroom of romance’.
  • He was also a hoofer of some renown; often ‘spotted as a jiver ‘he had ‘no trouble getting his dances‘.


More example sentences
  • The jivey street talk, the ‘innits' and ‘wassups', dissolve into normal London accents when addressing an older white woman; the body language changes.
  • Barker's jivey style is occasionally annoying, but the unexpectedly sad ending rights what few wrongs there are.
  • For The Cold Six Thousand, Ellroy reverts to the jivey slang he used in White Jazz.

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Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈrɛtrə(ʊ)flɛks
turned backwards