follow Dictionary.com

Know these essential literary terms?

jay1

[jey] /dʒeɪ/
noun
1.
any of several noisy, vivacious birds of the crow family, subfamily Garrulinae, as the crested Garrulus glandarius, of the Old World, having brownish plumage with blue, black, and white barring on the wings.
Compare blue jay, gray jay.
2.
Informal. a simpleminded or gullible person.
Origin
1275-1335
1275-35; Middle English jai < Middle French < Late Latin gāius, gāia, perhaps after Latin Gāius man's name

jay2

[jey] /dʒeɪ/
noun, Slang.
1.
a marijuana cigarette.
Origin
1970-75; probably spelling of initial consonant of joint, perhaps suggested by Pig Latin version ointjay

Jay

[jey] /dʒeɪ/
noun
1.
John, 1745–1829, U.S. statesman and jurist: first chief justice of the U.S. 1789–95.
2.
a male given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for jays
  • In gray jays, however, nonbreeders do not help their parents to raise younger siblings.
  • Crows and jays a guide to the crows, jays and magpies of the world.
  • Blue jays, for example, are well known to attack anything that threatens their nest.
  • When the bird is feeding among other jays or resting, the crest is flattened to the head.
  • Blue jays have three toed feet which are good for wrapping around tree branches.
  • The nuts are an important food for jays, pigeons, wild boar and squirrels.
British Dictionary definitions for jays

jay

/dʒeɪ/
noun
1.
any of various passerine birds of the family Corvidae (crows), esp the Eurasian Garrulus glandarius, with a pinkish-brown body, blue-and-black wings, and a black-and-white crest See also blue jay
2.
a foolish or gullible person
Word Origin
C13: from Old French jai, from Late Latin gāius, perhaps from proper name Gāius

Jay

/dʒeɪ/
noun
1.
John 1745–1829, American statesman, jurist, and diplomat; first chief justice of the Supreme Court (1789–95). He negotiated the treaty with Great Britain (Jay's treaty, 1794), that settled outstanding disputes
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for jays

jay

n.

c.1300, common European bird (Garrulus glandarinus), from Old North French gai, Old French jai "magpie, jay," from Late Latin gaius "a jay," probably echoic and supposedly influenced by Latin Gaius, a common Roman proper name. For other bird names from proper names, cf. martin and parrot. Applied to the North American blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) from 1709. Applied to humans in sense of "impertinent chatterer, flashy dresser" from 1620s.

adj.

"fourth-rate, worthless" (e.g. a jay town), 1888, American English, apparently from some disparaging sense of jay (n.). Perhaps from a decaying or ironical use of jay "flashy dresser."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for jays

jay 1

noun
  1. A rustic; simpleton; hick, rube (1523+)
  2. An easy victim; mark, patsy, sucker (1884+ Underworld)

[fr the raucous bird]


jay 2

noun

Marijuana or a marijuana cigarette; j: Let's do up a jay and truck on down to the libo (1960s+ Narcotics)


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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for jay

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for jays

14
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with jays

Nearby words for jays