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[uh-jahr] /əˈdʒɑr/
adjective, adverb
neither entirely open nor entirely shut; partly open:
The door was ajar.
Origin of ajar1
1350-1400; Middle English on char on the turn; see a-1, char3


[uh-jahr] /əˈdʒɑr/
adverb, adjective
in contradiction to; at variance with:
a story ajar with the facts.
1545-55; for at jar at discord; cf. jar3 (noun) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ajar
  • Put meat under broiler, inch or two from source of heat, and leave broiler door slightly ajar.
  • Rotate the meringues, turn off the oven and leave the door slightly ajar.
  • She had spent her adulthood, if not fully closeted, then with the door only slightly ajar.
  • He declined to answer, leaving the door to that possibility slightly ajar.
  • She left the door ajar but the wind pushed the door open all the way filling the warm kitchen with a burst of cold air.
  • If oven is too hot, open check and raise back covers, or leave oven door ajar.
  • Keep a window ajar or the door open in a room where an unvented heater is in use.
  • To ensure adequate ventilation, have a window ajar or leave a door open to an adjoining room to provide an exchange of air.
  • The door was left ajar to peremptory brawn-versus-brains prejudice.
  • Amazon has yet to make it clear whether it will slam the door shut, or leave it ajar.
British Dictionary definitions for ajar


adjective, adverb (postpositive)
(esp of a door or window) slightly open
Word Origin
C18: altered form of obsolete on char, literally: on the turn; char, from Old English cierran to turn


(postpositive) not in harmony
Word Origin
C19: altered form of at jar at discord. See jar²
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 ajar

1718, perhaps from Scottish dialectal a char "slightly open," earlier on char (early 16c.), from Middle English char, from Old English cier "a turn."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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