Definition of johnny in English:


Line breaks: johnny
Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɒni

noun (plural johnnies)

  • 1British Used as a name for an unknown man, often suggesting that he is unimportant or insignificant: the security johnny insists that you sign the visitors' book
    More example sentences
    • One fella on the bus seemed particularly pleased with himself and not unjustly the crowd called him a johnny.
    • It was just those terrible scientist johnnies!
    • Whereas the British want to see children's faces light up with joy, those foreign johnnies prefer to scare the living daylights out of them.
  • 2 (also rubber johnny) A condom.
    More example sentences
    • I remembered picking up a rubber johnny (presumably used) as it drifted past me and holding it up to the other volunteers, who all recoiled in horror.
    • I thought non-Brit readers might like to know that ‘rubber johnny’ is a playground/school yard slang for a condom.
    • You can tell it's posh because food is served on a bed of other food, and there isn't a machine in the gents selling rubber johnnies.
  • 3US A gown fastened at the back, worn by hospital patients.
    More example sentences
    • Nicholson has a gift for physical comedy, swaying dizzily in a hospital johnny that unflatteringly reveals his derrière.


late 17th century (in sense 1): pet form of the given name John; sense 2 dates from the 1960s.

More definitions of johnny

Definition of johnny in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea