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Alternative forms[edit]


Etymology 1[edit]

Borrowing from Old French gelée, from geler (to congeal), from Latin gelō, gelāre.


jelly (countable and uncountable, plural jellies)

  1. (New Zealand, Australia, Britain) A dessert made by boiling gelatine, sugar and some flavouring (often derived from fruit) and allowing it to set, known as "jello" in North America.
  2. (Canada, US) A clear or translucent fruit preserve, made from fruit juice and set using either naturally occurring, or added, pectin. Known as "jam" in Commonwealth English.
    • 1945, Fannie Merritt Farmer and Wilma Lord Perkins revisor, The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, Eighth edition:
      Perfect jelly is of appetizing flavor; beautifully colored and translucent; tender enough to cut easily with a spoon, yet firm enough to hold its shape when turned from the glass.
    • 1975, Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, The Joy of Cooking, 5th revision:
      Jelly has great clarity. Two cooking processes are involved. First, the juice alone is extracted from the fruit. Only that portion thin and clear enough to drip through a cloth is cooked with sugar until sufficiently firm to hold its shape. It is never stiff and never gummy.
  3. A similar dish made with meat.
  4. Any substance or object having the consistency of jelly.
    calf's-foot jelly
    • 1901, H. G. Wells, The First Men in the Moon, Chapter 24,[1]
      [] some of the profounder scholars are altogether too great for locomotion, and are carried from place to place in a sort of sedan tub, wabbling jellies of knowledge that enlist my respectful astonishment.
  5. (zoology) A jellyfish.
    • 2014, Theo Tait, ‘Water-Borne Zombies’, London Review of Books, vol. 36 no. 5:
      Species of the phylum Cnidaria – the classic jelly – have existed in something close to their current form for at least 565 million years; Ctenophora, the comb jellies, are not much younger.
  6. (slang, now rare) A pretty girl; a girlfriend.
    • 1931, William Faulkner, Sanctuary, Vintage 1993, page 25:
      ‘Gowan goes to Oxford a lot,’ the boy said. ‘He′s got a jelly there.’
  7. (US, slang) A large backside, especially a woman's.
    • 2001, Destiny's Child, “Bootylicious” (song)
      I shake my jelly at every chance / When I whip with my hips you slip into a trance
    • 2001, George Dell, Dance Unto the Lord, page 94:
      At that Sister Samantha seemed to shake her jelly so that she sank back into her chair.
  8. (colloquial) Clipping of gelignite.
  9. (colloquial) A jelly shoe.
    • 2006, David L. Marcus, What It Takes to Pull Me Through:
      Mary Alice gazed at a picture of herself wearing jellies and an oversized turquoise T-shirt that matched her eyes []
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]


jelly (third-person singular simple present jellies, present participle jellying, simple past and past participle jellied)

  1. To wiggle like jelly.
  2. To make jelly.

Etymology 2[edit]

Clipping of jealous +‎ -y ((casual)).


jelly (comparative more jelly, superlative most jelly)

  1. (slang) Jealous.
    • 2011 February 28, Abby Normal [username], “Re: OT VERY FUNNY: MY NEW HERO CHARLIE SHEEN”, in, Usenet[2]:
      If the guy wants to party and bang porn stars, and he's not hurting anyone who really cares?
      I think a lot of guys are just jelly! :-)
    • 2011, "Exchange smiles, not saliva", The Banner (Grand Blanc High School), Volume 47, Issue 2, December 2011, page 17:
      "I think other people make rude comments because they're jelly [jealous] bro," Schroer said. "We're just showing our love to other people."
    • 2012 January 10, pussykatt [username], “BLIND GOSSIP 01/09/12 **BLIND ITEM 2**”, in alt.gossip.celebrities, Usenet[3]:
      Shame on all you haters out there! You’re all just jelly!
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:jelly.