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[jel-ee] /ˈdʒɛl i/
noun, plural jellies.
a food preparation of a soft, elastic consistency due to the presence of gelatin, pectin, etc., especially fruit juice boiled down with sugar and used as a sweet spread for bread and toast, as a filling for cakes or doughnuts, etc.
any substance having the consistency of jelly.
Chiefly British. a fruit-flavored gelatin dessert.
a plastic sandal or shoe.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), jellied, jellying.
to bring or come to the consistency of jelly.
containing or made, spread, or topped with jelly or syrup; jellied:
jelly apples.
Origin of jelly
1350-1400; Middle English gely < Old French gelee frozen jelly < Medieval Latin gelāta frozen, equivalent to Latin gel- freeze + -āta -ate1; cf. gel, cold
Related forms
jellylike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for jelly
  • Unfortunately, they glowed green, the colour of the light from natural crystal-jelly protein.
  • There are patents on making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  • Spread before folding with jam, jelly, or marmalade.
  • If any is left over, drain from grounds, and reserve for making of jelly or other dessert.
  • If you want to guess how many jelly beans are in a jar, you should ask your friends.
  • The table is dominated by an enormous bowl of jelly beans with a soup ladle inside.
  • He understood that they were only animated cavities full of jelly and strings and liquids.
  • Intensely flavored and vibrant red, this jelly bears no resemblance to the stuff in the can.
  • To move directionally, the jelly follows the swing of an internal pendulum.
  • Blind and hairless, joeys are no bigger than jelly beans.
British Dictionary definitions for jelly


noun (pl) -lies
a fruit-flavoured clear dessert set with gelatine US and Canadian trademark Jell-o
a preserve made from the juice of fruit boiled with sugar and used as jam
a savoury food preparation set with gelatine or with a strong gelatinous stock and having a soft elastic consistency: calf's-foot jelly
anything having the consistency of jelly
(informal) a coloured gelatine filter that can be fitted in front of a stage or studio light
verb -lies, -lying, -lied
to jellify
Derived Forms
jelly-like, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French gelee frost, jelly, from geler to set hard, from Latin gelāre, from gelu frost


(Brit) a slang name for gelignite
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 jelly

late 14c., from Old French gelee "a frost; jelly," noun use of fem. past participle of geler "congeal," from Latin gelare "to freeze," from gelu "frost" (see cold (adj.)).


c.1600, from jelly (n.). Related: Jellied; jellying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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jelly in Medicine

jelly jel·ly (jěl'ē)
A semisolid resilient substance usually containing some form of gelatin in solution.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for jelly


  1. An easy, pleasant task; sinecure; cinch
  2. Anything gotten free or without effort; gravy
  3. jelly-roll (1940s+)

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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