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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English jogeler, jogelour, iogular, partly continuing Old English ġeogolere (juggler; magician; wizard) and partly from Anglo-Norman jogelour, jugelur, Old French jongleur (juggler), equivalent to juggle +‎ -er. Doublet of jongleur.


  • IPA(key): /ˈd͡ʒʌɡl̩ə(ɹ)/


juggler (plural jugglers)

  1. Agent noun of juggle; one who either literally juggles objects, or figuratively juggles tasks.
    • 2014, Jelani Cobb, “The Path Cleared by Amiri Baraka,” The New Yorker, 15 January, 2014,[1]
      Baraka was part trickster and part provocateur, a brilliant juggler of genres, ideas, and identities, whose career spanned nearly six decades.
    • 2016, Jule Scherer, “Going out for the first time as a mum,” stuff.co.nz, 15 March, 2016,[2]
      Since the babies were born I’ve turned into a 24/7 milking machine, a bilingual nursery-rhyme jukebox, a prolific laundress, a bum-wiping wizard, a baby juggler and two-armed synchronised cuddler.
  2. A person who practices juggling.
    • 1821, William Hazlitt, “Essay IX”, in Table-Talk; or, Original Essays, volume I, London: John Warren, [], →OCLC, page 181:
      Coming forward and seating himself on the ground in his white dress and tightened turban, the chief of the Indian Jugglers begins with tossing up two brass balls, which is what any of us could do, and concludes with keeping up four at the same time, which is what none of us could do to save our lives, nor if we were to take our whole lives to do it in.
    • 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, chapter LX, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, →OCLC:
      Thus the whale-line folds the whole boat in its complicated coils, twisting and writhing around it in almost every direction. All the oarsmen are involved in its perilous contortions; so that to the timid eye of the landsman, they seem as Indian jugglers, with the deadliest snakes sportively festooning their limbs.
    • 1902, Arnold Bennett, The Grand Babylon Hôtel, Chapter One,[3]
      The waiters, commanded by Jules, moved softly across the thick Oriental rugs, balancing their trays with the dexterity of jugglers, and receiving and executing orders with that air of profound importance of which only really first-class waiters have the secret.
    • 1926, Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam,[4]
      Only when a juggler misses catching his ball does he appeal to me.
  3. (obsolete) A person who performs tricks using sleight of hand, a conjurer, prestidigitator.
    • c. 1594 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Comedie of Errors”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii], page 87, column 1:
      They ſay this tovvne is full of coſenage: / As nimble Iuglers that deceiue the eie: / Darke vvorking Sorcerers that change the minde: / Soule-killing VVitches, that deforme the bodie: []
    • c. 1594 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Comedie of Errors”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene i]:
      [] Along with them / They brought one Pinch, a hungry lean-faced villain, / A mere anatomy, a mountebank, / A threadbare juggler and a fortune-teller, / A needy, hollow-eyed, sharp-looking wretch, / A dead-looking man: this pernicious slave, / Forsooth, took on him as a conjurer []
    • 1661, Robert Boyle, “Physiological Considerations Touching the Experiments Wont to be Employed to Evince either the IV Peripatetick Elements, or the III Chymical Principls of Mixt Bodies. Part of the First Dialogue.”, in The Sceptical Chymist: or Chymico-physical Doubts & Paradoxes, [], London: [] J. Cadwell for J. Crooke, [], →OCLC, page 15:
      And such captious ſubtleties do indeed often puzzle and ſometimes ſilence men, but rarely ſatisfy them. Being like the tricks of Jugglers, vvhereby men doubt not but they are cheated, though oftentimes they cannot declare by vvhat ſlights they are impoſed on.
    • 1728, [John] Gay, The Beggar’s Opera. [], London: [] John Watts, [], →OCLC, Act I, scene vi, page 7:
      Come hither Filch. I am as fond of this Child, as though my Mind miſgave me he vvere my ovvn. He hath as fine a Hand at picking a Pocket as a VVWoman, and is as nimble-finger’d as a Juggler.
    • 1748, [Samuel Richardson], “Letter LVI”, in Clarissa. Or, The History of a Young Lady: [], volume IV, London: [] S[amuel] Richardson; [], →OCLC, page 357:
      Doubtless the pleasure is as great / In being cheated, as to cheat. / As lookers-on find most delight, / Who least perceive the juggler’s sleight; / And still the less they understand, / The more admire the sleight of hand.
    • 1789, John Trusler, The Habitable World Described, Volume 4, Part 3, p. 19,[5]
      According to Mr. Gmelin’s account, [the Samojede magicians] are tolerable jugglers. Some have the art of plunging a knife into the body, without making a wound; and apparently wringing off their heads, by fastening a cord round their necks, and suffering two persons to draw it tight, and afterwards setting it on again. But these tricks are seen only among those magicians who require but little art to deceive their countrymen; and, indeed, to speak seriously, such a Siberian juggler, would cut but a very indifferent figure at a European fair.
  4. (dated) A magician or wizard.
    • 1841, Geoffrey Chaucer, Richard H. Horne, The Poems of Geoffrey Chaucer, page 320:
      So far we may follow the 'clerk,' but he subsequently shows himself to be a juggler, and not a worker by regular natural science.
    • 1938, Constantin Regamey, The Bhadramayakara Vyakarana, →OCLC, page 115:
      The contents of the Sūtra is a legend of a juggler Bhadra. Bhadra, due to his magical tricks, intended to deceive the Buddha and invited him to a magic feast which was charmed into being on a refuse dump.
    • 1986, School Library Journal, volume 33, page 72:
      This time he accidentally takes a juggler's magic ball and embarks on a successful career as a street entertainer. Every time he throws the red ball into the air, the ball multiplies, and magical scenes appear on them.
    • 1998, Bernard Blistène, Centre Georges Pompidou, & Lisa Dennison, Rendezvous:
      Brauner transforms the Juggler's magic wand into a lunar-solar scepter to symbolize the reunion of opposites, to set up a confrontation of masculine and feminine principles, and to announce their alchemical fusion.

Etymology 2[edit]



  1. Misspelling of jugular.
    • 2016, “Ulster now the only provincial title that means anything — John Gildea,” Donegal Now, 29 January, 2016,[6]
      The defensive system they were playing hampered them from going for the juggler.
    • 2016, “Unrest in Kashmir,” Asian Tribune, 28 August, 2016,[7]
      [They] declare that Kashmir is their juggler vein.