Definitions

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

  • n. A small motor vehicle, such as a bus or van, that transports passengers on a route for a small fare.
  • n. Archaic A nickel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small bus or minibus which typically operates service on a fixed route, sometimes scheduled.
  • n. An unlicensed taxi cab.
  • n. A shared-ride taxi.
  • n. A small coin, a nickel.
  • n. Very inexpensive.
  • n. this sense?) A fraudulent arrangement whereby a broker who has direct access to an exchange executes trades on behalf of a broker who doesn't.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a small bus or similar vehicle carrying passengers on a fixed route, used for public transport.
  • n. A five-cent piece; a nickel.

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

  • n. a vehicle carrying many passengers; used for public transport

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
In original sense, a 5-cent US coin (a nickel); use for taxis and buses due to these services originally charging 5 cents as fare. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In the "jitney," as Mr. Merkel dubbed his auto, several cowboys from Diamond X (including the veteran foreman Slim) reached Happy

    The Boy Ranchers on the Trail

  • In specific trades, such as jitney services, government officials have created relatively pragmatic licensing requirements that help to foster growth and opportunity.

    chron.com Chronicle

  • Even before the automobile became ubiquitous, competition arose from other modes of transportation like the jitney, an automobile that carried passengers for a nickel along routes that ran parallel to the trolley line.

    Matthew Yglesias » The American Urban Paradox

  • The Hampton Jitney has an Ambassador Service, which is infinitely more comfortable than the regular jitney.

    Mara Gibbs: Everybody Eats Where? Everybody Sleeps Where? In the Hamptons Part 1

  • When I called to find out why, they couldn't tell me more than "the old stop was dangerous" (it had been there for over 50 years & no accidents) & that as a certified cripple, I could call the LIFT jitney to get me at home - That's fine deluxe service, but it costs TriMet over $20 per person per trip, & I would pay less than 10% of that.

    The railroading continues (Jack Bog's Blog)

  • Considering more than 80% of all commuter trips are between areas outside downtown, priority should be given to more flexible, less costly systems such as rapid commuter bus lines, bus rapid transit, as well as subsidized dial-a-ride and jitney services that can work between suburban centers.

    Mass Transit: The Great Train Robbery

  • At the ferry landing in Luanda Kotieno, a town of about 6,500 people, Walter Omondi, 20, just out of high school and working as a helper on a little, skinny water jitney with a small outboard motor, said he had tried drinking water straight from the lake.

    In East Africa, Selling Drinking Water Straight From the Pond

  • “A jitney we were on last night, a real broken-down old flivver.”

    DIAMOND RUBY

  • Thomas Cave Wilson, a twenty-four-year-old newspaper reporter with a job offer from Pop Squires at the Age, arrived from Reno late one afternoon in a nine-passenger jitney.

    Colossus

  • We had no car—my stepfather rode a motorcycle, while my mother took the local jitney service every morning to the US embassy, where she worked as an English teacher.

    Post-American Presidency

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