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Etymology 1[edit]

Perhaps a corruption of cheer (to salute with cheers), taken in an ironical sense; or more probably from Dutch gekscheren (to jeer, literally to shear the fool), from gek (a fool) (see geck) + scheren (to shear) (see shear (verb)).


jeer (plural jeers)

  1. A mocking remark or reflection.
    Synonyms: scoff, taunt, flout, jibe, mockery
    • 1711, Jonathan Swift, The Fable of Midas, in The Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Vol XII, Sir Walter Scott, ed., Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Co., 1824, pages 302-5,
      Midas, exposed to all their jeers, Had lost his art, and kept his ears.


jeer (third-person singular simple present jeers, present participle jeering, simple past and past participle jeered)

  1. (intransitive, jeer at) To utter sarcastic or mocking comments; to speak with mockery or derision; to use taunting language.
    • Edmund Spenser,
      But when he saw her toy and gibe and jeer.
    • 2011 October 1, Phil McNulty, “Everton 0 - 2 Liverpool”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      At the end of a frantic first 45 minutes, there was still time for Charlie Adam to strike the bar from 20 yards before referee Atkinson departed to a deafening chorus of jeering from Everton's fans.
  2. (transitive, archaic) To mock; treat with mockery; to taunt.
    • Ben Jonson
      And if we cannot jeer them, we jeer ourselves.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Compare gear.


jeer (plural jeers)

  1. (nautical) A gear; a tackle.
  2. (nautical, in the plural) An assemblage or combination of tackles, for hoisting or lowering the yards of a ship.
    • 1984, James Lees, The masting and rigging of English ships of war, 1625-1860, page 65:
      In the nineteenth century, 1811 to be exact, the jeers were unrove after the yard was slung, the weight of the yard being borne by chain slings. The jeers used then were a treble block lashed to the mast head through a hole in the center of the top
Derived terms[edit]



From Old Irish dír (due, fit, proper).



  1. indeed, verily, truly, actually
    Jeer cha nel!
    Indeed it is not!

Related terms[edit]


Manx mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
jeer yeer n'yeer
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.



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jeer ?

  1. hippopotamus
    Jeertu way jeclayd dhexqaadka dhoobaada.
    The hippopotamus loved wallowing.