Definition of jitterbug in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈjidərˌbəɡ/


1A fast dance popular in the 1940s, performed chiefly to swing music.
Example sentences
  • When he does surgery he dances, does the jitterbug.
  • Old men in paper hats dance the jitterbug with old women in poodle skirts.
  • They said it so often that the panic spread and everyone danced the jitterbug.
1.1 dated A person fond of dancing the jitterbug.
Example sentences
  • A motormouth jitterbug with a shiny dome, he was the X factor, goosing the rhythm and galvanizing the offense.
2 informal, dated A nervous person.
Example sentences
  • So now to the big day, needless to say there were hardly any jitterbugs.
  • Obviously, using a jitterbug is not a good practice.

verb (jitterbugs, jitterbugging, jitterbugged)

[no object]
Dance the jitterbug.
Example sentences
  • I find it hard to believe I not only wore some of those shoes but also two-stepped, waltzed, and even jitterbugged in them.
  • Following straight on from the Pilates class above will be an introduction to jiving and jitterbugging.
  • They were waltzing when they should have been jitterbugging.


1930s (originally US): from the verb jitter + bug.

Words that rhyme with jitterbug


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: jit·ter·bug

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.