noun, plural jiffies. Informal.
a very short time; moment: to get dressed in a jiffy.
Also, jiff [jif] .

1770–80; origin uncertain

instant, flash, second, trice.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
jiffy or jiff (ˈdʒɪfɪ, dʒɪf)
n , pl jiffies, jiffs
informal a very short time: wait a jiffy
[C18: of unknown origin]
jiff or jiff
[C18: of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1785, "a moment, an instant," colloquial, origin unknown; said to be originally thieves' slang for "lightning."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

jiffy definition

1. The duration of one tick of the computer's system clock. Often one AC cycle time (1/60 second in the US and Canada, 1/50 most other places), but more recently 1/100 sec has become common.
2. Confusingly, the term is sometimes also used for a 1-millisecond wall time interval. Even more confusingly, physicists semi-jokingly use "jiffy" to mean the time required for light to travel one foot in a vacuum, which turns out to be close to one *nanosecond*.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see under in a flash.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Any economist with half a brain will fix these in a jiffy to prevent inflation getting out of hand.
If jiffy stand is not fully retracted during vehicle operation, unexpected contact with the road surface can distract the rider.
Idioms & Phrases
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