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[job-lis] /ˈdʒɒb lɪs/
without a job.
noting or pertaining to persons without jobs, especially to those who are seeking employment.
(used with a plural verb) unemployed people collectively, especially those who are seeking a job (usually preceded by the).
Origin of jobless
1800-10; job1 + -less
Related forms
joblessness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for jobless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Enroll them in a networking club for the jobless, one of the really good ones.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
  • Two weeks ago he was down and out, broke, jobless, starving.

  • The day before a jobless soldier threw himself beneath a train and his last words were, 'Over the top and the best of luck.'

    The Kingdom Round the Corner Coningsby Dawson
  • I ask him his opinion of a jobless faith, of a creed which dooms a man through life to a lean and plunderless integrity.

  • Tens of thousands of them milling about, homeless, penniless, jobless.

    Land of the Burnt Thigh Edith Eudora Kohl
British Dictionary definitions for jobless


  1. unemployed
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the): the jobless
Derived Forms
joblessness, noun
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 jobless

1905 (adj.), 1909 (n.), from job (n.) + -less. Related: Joblessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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