9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[jey-wawk] /ˈdʒeɪˌwɔk/
verb (used without object)
to cross a street at a place other than a regular crossing or in a heedless manner, as diagonally or against a traffic light.
Origin of jaywalk
1915-20, Americanism; jay + walk
Related forms
jaywalker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for jaywalking
  • One idea would be return to aggressive enforcement of the laws against jaywalking in the affected areas.
  • jaywalking is also a major contributor to pedestrian fatalities.
  • Stop for pedestrian and jaywalking laws are emphasized.
  • jaywalking, between signal controlled intersections.
  • Improper crossing, including jaywalking, was a major pedestrian contributing factor in the four cities.
  • Thoughtless use of crosswalks is perhaps less safe than careful jaywalking.
  • It was at this time that a pedestrian, who was apparently jaywalking, entered the roadway and was struck by her vehicle.
  • Where she grew up, you could lose your driver's license for jaywalking and violating bike laws.
British Dictionary definitions for jaywalking


(intransitive) to cross or walk in a street recklessly or illegally
Derived Forms
jaywalker, noun
jaywalking, noun
Word Origin
C20: from jay (sense 2)
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 jaywalking

by 1912, American English (said in original citation to be a Kansas City term), from jay, perhaps with notion of boldness and impudence. Related: Jaywalk; jaywalker.

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



To walk into or across a street at a forbidden place or without the right of way

[1916+; fr the naive behavior of a jay, ''rustic'']

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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