Definition of jive in English:



  • 1A lively style of dance popular especially in the 1940s and 1950s, performed to swing music or rock and roll.

    • ‘Soon, in addition to jazz, ballet and tap, children may be begging for swing, jive, foxtrot and rumba lessons.’
    • ‘We used to have to get the shy boys up to dance, teach them the basic steps, waltz, jive, and Latin steps.’
    • ‘The ‘moving center’ of the dance, in jive's case the handhold, should remain firm.’
    • ‘In a hurly-burly whirl of tunes and groovy jives, Macbeth: The Rock Opera, which puts on its final performance at the Guild Theatre tonight, is rocking audiences, young and old.’
    • ‘Gloria and her husband still enjoy a bit of a bop and a jive.’
    • ‘Ratc now conducts beginners' classes to introduce you to the jive, cha cha, and salsa.’
    • ‘She'd added a little jazz to her dance this time, some quicksteps and jives.’
    • ‘Live music, dance workshops and late-night jive discos are only some of the treats for enthusiasts.’
    • ‘She employs around 20 teachers, teaching ballet, tap, foxtrot, waltz, tango, jive and hip hop.’
    • ‘We first went over our existing steps in the jive.’
    • ‘The next hour is spent dancing the tango, the waltz the rumba, the cha-cha and jive.’
    • ‘They succumbed in laughter, and eventually gave up, and danced jive to the lively music.’
    • ‘Fifty members of the group turned up to show just how the jive should be danced.’
    • ‘Co-founder Terry Monaghan described what it takes to be an ace at the jive.’
    • ‘We practiced the cha-cha, quickstep, jive and samba, all of which are coming along quite well.’
    • ‘There was also a blitz ball, a jitterbug jive dance night, a mock 1940s wedding, a remembrance service and a parade.’
    • ‘Now, jobs figures still aren't dancing the jive yet, but prices are spiraling higher and higher, mocking the Fed's directorate for central planning.’
    • ‘Sylvia lent him to me at the adults' Christmas party for a jive, for which I was very grateful.’
    • ‘Jitterbugs on August 2, 16 and 30 provides jive and boogie 1940s'-style classes for all the family.’
    • ‘The jive may be the latest dance craze here but it is not new.’
    1. 1.1[mass noun]Swing music.
      • ‘Off ice, she listens to all kinds of music but prefers jive and hip-hop.’
      • ‘I loved the Reverend's daughter, and I loved the sweet, sweet jive of rock and roll music.’
      • ‘Miller's distinctive big band timbre is the sound of a generation: swing and jive, romance and sweet sentiment, people and places.’
      • ‘Combining cool jazz jive with a spectacular sonic range, his work both before the mic and at the composer's table can't be matched.’
      • ‘The concerts have featured internationally renowned bands playing music as diverse as African dance music, ska, jive, salsa and Bhangra.’
      • ‘It was zestful, restless, alive, jumping with jazz, sass and jive.’
      • ‘Their movements have a likable jazzy syncopation, a bit of relaxed jive.’
      • ‘The Hoochers are a unique six-piece outfit who play traditional blues with an assorted blend of funk, jazz, rock, swing, bop and jive.’
      • ‘Sitting above an advertisement for live jive music, it seems to capture the incongruity of a violent death in this easy-going part of Glasgow.’
      • ‘His street jive is portrayed as something materialistic and cool.’
      • ‘As leader-trumpeter Dean Nelson states in his succinct CD notes, this is ‘a bit of jump, funk, jive, and lots of swing.’’
      • ‘Any band that can blend an odd mixture of garage rock and southern jive automatically qualifies as good - I mean ANY band.’
    2. 1.2[mass noun]A style of dance music popular in South Africa.
      ‘township jive’
      • ‘It is going to be a musical weekend this Easter, with classical music by the orchestra and township jive at Windybrow.’
      • ‘They speak jive, they jive to the shops and back, they live to jive but the jive is barely alive.’
      • ‘But what he found when he went to Johannesburg convinced him that an entire album could be built around township jive.’
      • ‘Most popular music, however, tends to come from South Africa, with its rich history of township jive.’
  • 2[mass noun] A form of slang associated with black American jazz musicians.

    • ‘Between the intermittent razor-sharp lines, he lumbers his cast with some creaky, faintly anachronistic hipster jive dialogue.’
    • ‘There are beautiful teens with bored expressions, belied by their enthusiastic jive.’
    • ‘It's a nice portrait of Strummer the hipster, talking his jive talk and dropping the needle on U Roy records to a worldwide audience.’
    • ‘Talking to Ike Turner, with all due respect, is kinda like listening to a jive talkin’ Grandpa Simpson.’
    • ‘With a name full of jargon jive and a cast of unknown comedians and aspiring actors, this marketed as a hip urban comedy sounds like a prescription for disaster.’
    • ‘Rarely is such a degree of lingua franca phrasing, of jazzy jive, to be found in his film reviews, and it is utterly absent from ‘Hollywood's Gift’.’
    • ‘Toasting, the addition of jive talk to recorded rhythms, was one of the major offshoots of reggae - dub poetry was the other.’
    • ‘She has the poker jive down pat, but can't shuffle the cards worth a damn.’
    • ‘But I feel like we are all still telling the same joke about Barbara Billingsley talking jive in Airplane.’
    • ‘Audrey II has started to talk and not just talk, but Shaft-like jive talk.’
    • ‘Scott Hudson was freaking hilarious talking in carny jive when interviewing them.’
    • ‘He shops for disco clothes and plaid pants, gets an Afro wig and starts talking jive.’
    • ‘The audience is tuned in, hip to the lingo, the jive.’
    1. 2.1North American informal Deceptive or worthless talk.
      ‘a single image says more than any amount of blather and jive’
      • ‘I moved from the wilds of Detroit to the country, and the only thing I don't miss about the urban experience is the ‘street jive.’’
      • ‘‘Push out the jive, bring in the love,’ she murmured under her breath.’
      • ‘The weekend broadcasts on the Outdoor Life Network are excellent - all of the action and none of the jive.’
      • ‘Oh man, these people are all around us making joke after joke, jive after jive, pun after pun, all in a vain attempt to elicit laughter.’
      • ‘Shows like Fraggle Rock, Howdy Doody, and that one on Fox about the jive talking cat in a leather jacket began to absorb all my free time.’
      • ‘Everyone knows him as a hard-nosed, hard-rock leader who takes no jive, stands up for what is right and goes about playing the right way.’
      • ‘Several recent reports have shown that all their talk was jive - nearly two years into NAFTA; we've actually lost about 300,000 jobs to Mexico.’
      • ‘It's often hard to distinguish between real advances, simple improvements on existing technologies, and pure marketing jive.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the good former Senator was talking jive.’
      • ‘She is not swayed by hype, jive, or anybody else's pressures.’
      • ‘A popular jive at that time was ‘If the enemy comes, he will be drowned by the saliva of us.’’
      • ‘In case you're not hip to the industry jive, the usual angle is that the described band is the hottest thing the reader of the bio will ever see.’
      • ‘It's easy to see why these films were used as part of the shuck and jive of the traveling movie marketer.’
      • ‘But when the hands come up, that means shut up with mindless jive.’
      • ‘It's also faster, although, as Smith says, a coyote may have more ‘jukes and jives.’’
      • ‘Here's what I believe: A wise, old street vendor in New York City once told me, ‘There's a little truth in all jive and a little jive in all truth.’’
      • ‘Yes, this film where Bachchan plays a millionaire whose riches and jives are only matched by Irani, is actually a father-son tale.’


  • 1[no object] Perform the jive or a similar dance to popular music.

    ‘people were jiving in the aisles’
    • ‘Jump and jive with R'n'B and Boogie-Woogie, a la Jools Holland.’
    • ‘All of a sudden we looked up and there was a big circle of Americans around us while we were jiving and they kept asking us to dance.’
    • ‘Learn to jive, waltz, quick step etc. at classes to be held in Ceolaras Coleman.’
    • ‘Last October, the band had the audience jiving on the dance floor and helped raise more than £2,000 for Kingston Hospital's cancer unit appeal.’
    • ‘Committee members and volunteers were letting their hair down and they boogied and jived to the rhythmic beat of local band The Jury.’
    • ‘They jived to just about every chartbuster that rocks disco, pub and party circuit.’
    • ‘Members can take lessons at a variety of levels at little or no cost or just hang out and jive to big band music.’
    • ‘Following straight on from the Pilates class above will be an introduction to jiving and jitterbugging.’
    • ‘Over 1,000 people bopped, jigged, jived and pogoed to some excellent bands.’
    • ‘There are many people who want to dance and jive to that kind of music.’
    • ‘Everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves, dancing and jiving about.’
    • ‘There will be street jiving, dancing all day, marching bands, music and entertainment.’
    • ‘Dressed in 70's disco dancer regalia, the president jived, boogied and strutted on the computer screen with gamers choosing his next step.’
    • ‘Mansi, Kashmira and Anu come into the dancing space and start jiving to the music.’
    • ‘They had a CD of Christmassy tunes set to standard dance rhythms, and jiving to Slade was most enjoyable!’
    • ‘By midnight, everyone was on the dance floor, jiving to a number Archie knew he'd heard several times, but couldn't quite place a name on.’
    • ‘‘Wanna shop now,’ he says, as he jinks and jives down Oxford Street with his entourage trailing behind.’
    • ‘Just as the music-loving crowd, a majority of them youngsters, were getting into the groove with some static jiving, the stars arrived.’
    • ‘Busking and jiving - Bolton rocked away the weekend with music and dance.’
    • ‘Particular thanks go to the Summerland Rockers who jived and rocked their hearts out to a very appreciative audience.’
  • 2North American informal [with object] Taunt or sneer at.

    ‘Willy kept jiving him until Jimmy left’
    • ‘I turned the corner and, I jive you not, the first person I saw was Lamps.’
    • ‘And Johnson has some advice for people aspiring to a comfortable living playing music: ‘I've set it in my mind that I will not jive anybody, and not be jived by anybody.’’
    1. 2.1[no object]Talk nonsense.
      ‘he wasn't jiving about that bartender’
      • ‘The very nature of God-given expression makes room for people to hum, pluck, and jive while giving concerns over society's woes.’
      • ‘The fact that Colmes, who is demonstrably brighter than that, can sit there and shuck and jive with this fool says a lot about him.’


North american
  • Deceitful or worthless.

    • ‘But it's still a big jive turkey in need of a valuable lesson.’
    • ‘We all still have Zoidberg, but we all are jive turkeys.’


1920s (originally US denoting meaningless or misleading speech): of unknown origin; the later musical sense ‘jazz’ gave rise to ‘dance performed to jazz’ (1940s).