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Alternative forms[edit]


From Yiddish קיבעצן (kibetsn), cognate to German kiebitzen (to look on), from German Kiebitz (lapwing), from Middle High German gibiz (plover), imitative of its cry.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈkɪbɪts/
  • (file)


kibitz (third-person singular simple present kibitzes, present participle kibitzing, simple past and past participle kibitzed)

  1. (intransitive) To make small talk or idle chatter.
    Synonyms: chat, gossip
    Louise and I used to head down to the coffee shop and just sit for hours and kibitz.
    • 2004, Gerald W. Esch, Parasites, People, and Places: Essays on Field Parasitology, Cambridge University Press, →ISBN:
      His wife Karen listened as John and I kibitzed about our experiences at the University of Oklahoma some 40 years ago.
    • 2004, David Daniel, Goofy Foot: An Alex Rasmussen Mystery, Minotaur Books, →ISBN:
      Okay, we kibitzed enough. What brings you?
    • 2018 December 10, Eric Johnson, “Full Q&A: Y Combinator’s Sam Altman and Recode’s Kara Swisher discuss tech ethics, addiction and Facebook”, in recode[1]:
      So how it’s gonna go is we’re gonna talk for about 45 minutes. We’re just gonna kibbitz here; that’s Yiddish for just kinda like []
  2. (intransitive) To give unsolicited or unwanted advice or make unhelpful or idle comments, especially to someone playing a game.
    Quit kibitzing! You're giving away my hand!
  3. (intransitive, transitive) To watch a card or board game.
    • 2002, Elisabeth Merrett, Storied Landscapes: A Journey, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 103:
      [] stayed in the dorm, although she lived in Brooklyn Heights, and I frequently spent long hours with her, either in her room or at the student lounge, where we drank coffee and smoked cigarettes and kibitzed the never-ending bridge game.
    • 2012, Nona Baldwin Brown, Through the Opening Door: My Pioneering Journey in Mainstream Journalism, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 37:
      When it was my turn to stay in the office until 11 pm. closing, I kibitzed on their poker games and heard some colorful tales.

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