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Etymology 1[edit]

From Danish gibbe (jib, jibe), related to Swedish gippa (jib, jibe, jerk, make jump), Dutch gijpen ("to turn sails suddenly"; > English jibe). Compare also Middle High German gempeln (to spring), Swedish guppa (to move up and down), Swedish gumpa (to jump, spring). See jump.

A jib sail, left, compared to a (roughly 150%) genoa jib, right.
Boat with four jibs set and a fifth furled.
The jib is the horizontal bar of the crane.
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Alternative forms[edit]


jib (plural jibs)

  1. (nautical) A triangular staysail set forward of the foremast. In a sloop (see image) the basic jib reaches back roughly to the level of the mast.
  2. (nautical, usually with a modifier) Any of a variety of specialty triangular staysails set forward of the foremast.
  3. The projecting arm of a crane
  4. (metonymically) A crane used for mounting and moving a video camera
  5. An object that is used for performing tricks while skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, in-line skating, or biking. These objects are usually found in a terrain park or skate park.
  6. (dialectal) The under lip, the mouth, face, nose, or teeth.
Derived terms[edit]


jib (third-person singular simple present jibs, present participle jibbing, simple past and past participle jibbed)

  1. (chiefly nautical) To shift, or swing round, as a sail, boom, yard, etc., as in tacking.

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Of uncertain origin.


jib (third-person singular simple present jibs, present participle jibbing, simple past and past participle jibbed)

  1. To stop and refuse to go forward (usually of a horse).
    • 1826, Benjamin Disraeli, Vivian Grey, London: Henry Colburn, 1827, Volume 4, Book 6, p. 73,[1]
      “Who calls, who calls?” cried Essper; a shout was the only answer. There was no path, but the underwood was low, and Vivian took his horse, an old forester, across it with ease. Essper’s jibbed.
    • 1899, Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Part I,[2]
      Then he got fever, and had to be carried in a hammock slung under a pole. As he weighed sixteen stone I had no end of rows with the carriers. They jibbed, ran away, sneaked off with their loads in the night—quite a mutiny.
    • 1901, Rudyard Kipling, Kim, Chapter 2,[3]
      The lama jibbed at the open door of a crowded third-class carriage. ‘Were it not better to walk?’ said he weakly.
    • 1989, Jack Vance, Madouc, Chapter Eight,
      “Juno has a kindly gait. She neither jibs nor shies, though she will take a fence no more. []
  2. (figuratively) To stop doing something, to become reluctant to proceed with an activity.
    • 1819, Walter Scott, The Bride of Lammermoor, Chapter 28,[4]
      “What say you to the young lady herself?” said Craigengelt; “the finest young woman in all Scotland, one that you used to be so fond of when she was cross, and now she consents to have you, and gives up her engagement with Ravenswood, you are for jibbing. I must say, the devil’s in ye, when ye neither know what you would have nor what you would want.”
    • 1992, Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety, Harper Perennial 2007, pp. 401-2:
      Some of us began to jib when the family began to collect portraits of their new son to decorate their walls [...].
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin 2003, p. 318:
      The Parlement scarcely jibbed.


jib (plural jibs)

  1. One who jibs or balks, refusing to continue forward.
  2. A stationary condition; a standstill.



Borrowed from English jib.


jib f (genitive singular jibe, nominative plural jibeanna)

  1. (nautical) jib