Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The letter j.
  • n. Any of various often crested birds of the genera Garrulus, Cyanocitta, Aphelocoma, and related genera within the family Corvidae, often having a loud, harsh call. Also called jaybird.
  • n. An overly talkative person; a chatterbox.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The name of the Latin script letter J/j.
  • n. Any one of the numerous species of birds belonging to several genera within the family Corvidae, including Garrulus, Cyanocitta, allied to the crows, but smaller, more graceful in form, often handsomely colored, usually having a crest, and often noisy.
  • n. Other birds of similar appearance and behavior.
  • n. A dull or ignorant person. It survives today in the term jaywalking.
  • n. A marijuana cigarette; a joint.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of the numerous species of birds belonging to Garrulus, Cyanocitta, and allied genera of the family Corvidae. They are allied to the crows, but are smaller, more graceful in form, often handsomely colored, and usually have a crest.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The name of the letter j. It is rarely written out, the symbol j being used instead.
  • n. Any bird of the subfamily Garrulinæ; specifically, Garrulus glandarius, a common European bird, about 13 inches long, of a gray color tinged with reddish, varied with black, white, and blue, and having the head crested.
  • n. A loud, flashy woman.
  • n. In actors' slang, an amateur or a poor actor.
  • n. A general term of contempt applied to a stupid person: as, an audience at jays.
  • n.
  • n. In angling, a variety of artificial fly dressed with blue jay feathers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. United States diplomat and jurist who negotiated peace treaties with Britain and served as the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court (1745-1829)
  • n. crested largely blue bird

Etymologies

Middle English jai, from Old French, from Late Latin gāius, gāia, perhaps from Latin Gāius, personal name.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Respelling of the letter jy, by analogy with the following letter kay. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English jay, from Old French jai ("jay"; Modern French geai), from Old French jai ("gay, merry"), so named due to its plumage, from Old Frankish *gāhi (“quick, impetuous”), from Proto-Germanic *ganhuz, *ganhwaz (“sudden”), cognate with Dutch gaai ("jay"). More at gay. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Kiss me, sweet : the wary lover
    Can your favors keep, and cover,
    When the common courting jay
    All your bounties will betray.

    -Ben Jonson, 'To The Same'.

    July 28, 2009