Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To come in rough contact while moving; push and shove: jostled against the others on the crowded platform.
  • intransitive v. To make one's way by pushing or elbowing: jostled through the guests to the bar.
  • intransitive v. To vie for an advantage or position.
  • intransitive v. To be in close proximity.
  • intransitive v. To pick or try to pick pockets.
  • transitive v. To come into rough contact with while moving: messengers who jostle pedestrians on the sidewalk.
  • transitive v. To force by pushing or elbowing: jostled my way through the mob.
  • transitive v. To vie with for an advantage or position.
  • transitive v. To be in close proximity with: "Books written in all languages ... jostle each other on the shelf” ( Virginia Woolf).
  • transitive v. To pick or try to pick the pocket of.
  • n. A rough shove or push.
  • n. The condition of being crowded together.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To bump into or brush against while in motion.
  • v. To move through by pushing and shoving.
  • v. To be close to or in physical contact with.
  • v. To contend or vie in order to acquire something.
  • v. To pick or attempt to pick pockets.
  • n. An experience in which jostling occurs.
  • n. Being crowded or in a condition of jostling.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A conflict by collisions; a crowding or bumping together; interference.
  • intransitive v. To push; to crowd; to hustle.
  • transitive v. To run against and shake; to push out of the way; to elbow; to hustle; to disturb by crowding; to crowd against.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To push against; crowd against so as to render unsteady; elbow; hustle.
  • To check.
  • To hustle; shove and be shoved about, as in a crowd.
  • n. A pushing about or crowding; a shock or encounter.

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

  • v. come into rough contact with while moving
  • n. the act of jostling (forcing your way by pushing)
  • v. make one's way by jostling, pushing, or shoving

Etymologies

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

Middle English justilen, to have sexual relations with, frequentative of justen, to joust, from Old French juster; see joust.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Originally justle ("to have sex with"), formed from jousten + -tle; from the Old French joster ("to joust"), from Latin iuxtā ("next to"), from iungō ("join, connect").

Examples

  • I figure perhaps I can speak a word to jostle him from his entrenched vow to seek revenge.

    Tattoos on the Heart

  • Once long ago I was in the _Herald_ office with a note to Chaffner the big chief, and I gave him a little word jostle as I passed it over.

    Michael O'Halloran

  • The Ottomans were certainly in conflict with Europeans for centuries--they entered the Balkans in the 14th century and they besieged Vienna as recently as 1683; but they certainly did not "jostle" the Crusaders for centuries.

    Daimnation!: NY Times blames Crusaders--wrongly

  • Theriot was suspended for causing his mount to "jostle"

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  • When more spectrum needed for one use, inevitably various interests will throw a few elbows as they jostle for precious real estate.

    Jonathan Spalter: The Spectrum Shot Clock

  • The bonuses paid to senior executives at RBS and Lloyds, which the government bailed out during the credit crisis, have become a totemic issue as the U.K.'s main political parties jostle to show which of them has the fairest economic policies.

    U.K. Caps Part-State Bank Bonuses

  • Analysts say that while investment banks would likely happily jostle to handle any major government selling of shares, without law changes, the amount that could be freed up would be limited.

    Japan Considers Selling State Firms to Fund Rebuilding

  • A far-reaching partnership with SAIC is a central part of GM's strategy to manage business in China, where conditions are increasingly challenging as global auto makers and local manufacturers jostle for market share and must contend with government regulation.

    GM Deepens China Auto Alliance

  • Such is Mr. Cecchini's cult status, doubtless assisted by Bill Buford's extravagant portrait of the Italian in his book "Heat," that it is a considerable task to enter his modest butcher shop, given the likelihood of having to jostle past German camera crews and crowds from Japan.

    Dishing on a Classic

  • Analysts said they expect domestic mobile operators to see weaker earnings in the quarters to come due to higher marketing costs as carriers jostle for market share in the ultra-fast network segment.

    KT Corp's Net Profit Rises

Comments

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  • Go on, read yarb's comment in the context of the etymology.

    May 22, 2018

  • An unfriendly jostle, on the other hand....

    November 30, 2007

  • I don't know, a friendly jostle on public transit can be a pleasant way to wake up.

    November 30, 2007

  • A word that sounds nicer than it is, especially if you happen to be on a crowded bus or streetcar.

    November 29, 2007