Definition of jig in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /jiɡ/


1A lively dance with leaping movements.
Example sentences
  • They twitched, swayed and finally did a lively little jig - but there was no bird in sight.
  • No wonder her boss danced a little jig and then rang to thank Larry.
  • I continued to hop and dance about, performing an Irish jig Brooke had taught me.
1.1A piece of music for a jig, typically in compound time.
Example sentences
  • If you thought Celtic music was fiddles, jigs and reels, this extraordinary album will be a platform for your transfiguration.
  • Pipe tunes, mouth music, jigs and reels nestle alongside songs and ballads, most originating from Fowlis' native South Uist.
  • The off-key singing of the congregations at Church and the reels and jigs of the Connecticut fiddle players enchanted him.
2A device that holds a piece of work and guides the tools operating on it.
Example sentences
  • However, in 2005 the plan calls for production of entirely new-build Vipers for which the company will have to build jigs and tools.
  • These special tools, called jigs and fixtures, make jobs easier and allow the gunsmith to turn out quality work, fast and efficiently.
  • The Miltech shop is a jumble of jigs, tools and fixtures, each dedicated to a specific task, such as an original M1 barrel vise.
3 Fishing A type of artificial bait that is jerked up and down through the water.
Example sentences
  • The change of pace from topwaters and jigs dredged up memories and fish, good on both counts.
  • Topwaters and soft-plastic jigs catch fish through winter, but for genuine, heart-stopping trout, odds favor suspending lures.
  • But when the current rolls and the fish are hungry, they'll slam jigs and sometimes detonate on topwater plugs.

verb (jigs, jigging, jigged)

1 [no object] Dance a jig.
Example sentences
  • They swapped their heads around and played and partied and danced and jigged and forgot who they were.
  • His mother, a sandwich maker, has told how he would be forever jigging and dancing around the house as a child.
  • The Nigerian danced and jigged and very nearly scored.
1.1 [with adverbial] Move up and down with a quick jerky motion: we were jigging about in our seats
More example sentences
  • So, what if you get on your horse and he starts jigging, trotting or moving around at an improper pace?
  • A long handle beats you to death during the vertical jigging motion for the plastic, or the zigzag for the topwater.
  • In a related compound-unit vein, Showtime presents a tight clutch of attenuated compartments, jigging vertically like a dancing city skyline in a Tex Avery cartoon.
2 [with object] Equip (a factory or workshop) with a jig or jigs.
Example sentences
  • My personal preference time and time again on my jigging system remains to be Trilene XL.
3 [no object] Fish with a jig: a man jigged for squid
More example sentences
  • Since squid is also a good bait fish we believe it is proper to include squid jigging in this booklet.
  • You want to start reeling and jigging your bait though the different spectrums of the water.
  • Lescarbot also observed Mikmaq spearing salmon, sturgeon and dolphins and jigging for cod.



in jig time

North American informal Extremely quickly; in a very short time.
Example sentences
  • After the parade, the Céilí Mór takes place at Earlsfort Terrace with some of the country's finest traditional acts keeping everybody in jig time.
  • The trio did the clean-up in jig time and with smiles.
  • There is no doubt we went mad in terms of exposing ourselves to increased debt as we dramatically caught up with the EU average on that score in jig time.

the jig is up

North American informal The scheme or deception is revealed or foiled.
Example sentences
  • Tally put her hands in the air mockingly and said, ‘I guess the jig is up.’
  • Which means, as Way puts it, ‘When the venues go, the jig is up.’
  • Dekker looks over his shoulder and sees that the jig is up.


Mid 16th century: of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with jig

big, brig, dig, fig, gig, grig, lig, pig, prig, rig, snig, sprig, swig, tig, trig, twig, Whig, wig

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: jig

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.