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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
    • 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 []
    Louise and I used to head down to the coffee shop and just sit for hours and kibitz.
  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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