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[jingks] /dʒɪŋks/
a person, thing, or influence supposed to bring bad luck.
verb (used with object)
to bring bad luck to; place a jinx on:
The strike has jinxed my plans to go to Milwaukee for the weekend.
to destroy the point of:
His sudden laugh jinxed the host's joke.
Origin of jinx
1910-15, Americanism; perhaps < Latin jynx wryneck (bird used in divination and magic) < Greek íynx
Related forms
outjinx, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for jinx
  • Once it was an anomaly, then it became a trend and now it's a full-fledged jinx.
  • One does not discuss such things, he said, as if it might jinx his chances.
  • He turned nervously away from the board, as if staring at it might jinx his sister's subterfuge.
  • And he's in the process of lining up a full-time gig that he doesn't want to jinx by disclosing.
  • Its location has been something of a jinx for restaurants, with many having opened and closed in short order.
  • So a squirrel jinx would fit right in with this team's agonizing history.
  • If they are not lobbying now, that is because they feel that they have already done their work and do not want to jinx it.
  • The number had been a jinx in the past, but the banker would not specify how.
  • She will not let me use her name either, fearing that will jinx whatever flight she does take.
British Dictionary definitions for jinx


an unlucky or malevolent force, person, or thing
(transitive) to be or put a jinx on
Word Origin
C20: perhaps from New Latin Jynx genus name of the wryneck, from Greek iunx wryneck, the name of a bird used in magic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for jinx

1911, American English, originally baseball slang; perhaps ultimately from jyng "a charm, a spell" (17c.), originally "wryneck," a bird used in witchcraft and divination, from Latin iynx "wryneck," from Greek iynx.

Most mysterious of all in the psychics of baseball is the "jinx," that peculiar "hoodoo" which affects, at times, a man, at other times a whole team. Let a man begin to think that there is a "jinx" about, and he is done for for the time being. ["Technical World Magazine," 1911]
The verb is 1912 in American English, from the noun. Related: Jinxed; jinxing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for jinx


  1. A cause of bad luck: Somebody around here is a jinx (1911+)
  2. A curse; assured ill fortune: Looks like the place has a jinx on it (1911+)

: Somebody jinxed him (1917+)

[apparently fr jynx or iynx, ''wryneck woodpecker,'' fr the use of the bird in divination]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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