Definition of kibitz in English:



[NO OBJECT]North American
  • 1Look on and offer unwelcome advice, especially at a card game.

    ‘Brigham stood behind them, kibitzing’
    • ‘Who are we to kibitz from the sidelines without access to secret briefings, intelligence, knowledge, and all of the apparatus of government?’
    • ‘Relieving the tension of hours below surface, crewmen on board a U.S. Navy submarine play a round of cards while a shipmate kibitzes from his bunk.’
    • ‘In addition to the formal legal process, a number of academics, lobbyists, journalists, and commentators have been kibitzing and barracking from the sidelines.’
    • ‘It is not polite to kibitz during other people's games, unless you have permission from both players.’
    • ‘In the third act, Turai hilariously kibitzes and harasses Almady as he plays out the play within the play with Ilona.’
    • ‘Gruff, inhospitable, and monolingual, the Russians sprawl in folding chairs, kibitz around card tables, smoke in defiance of ‘no smoking ‘signs, and studiously ignore customers who stray past their booths.’
    • ‘You take pictures from beginning to end - lots of them inside and outside of the plane - and even if you're a pilot, stay out of the way and don't kibitz.’
    interfere, butt in, intrude, intervene, interlope, pry, poke, nose, busybody, interpose, obtrude, thrust
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  • 2Speak informally; chat.

    ‘she kibitzed with friends’
    • ‘I basically advised them on the accuracy of the film and verisimilitude issues, kibitzed with them.’
    • ‘During the practice round before my Masters victory in 1997, Arnold, Jack and I had the best time kibitzing over bets.’
    • ‘They joked and kibitzed for a few minutes, and Axel was totally won over.’
    • ‘Well, I guess we could kibitz a little first about the word ‘formal,’ and whether it can really be used to point to a certain sort of poem.’
    • ‘Al had the ability to kibitz with the players but he also knew when it was time to put his foot down.’
    • ‘The two of them are still close as they kibitz among the consumer goods.’
    • ‘They visit, gossip, spy and tease; and while they are so engaged, the main character snoops and kibitzes with us.’
    • ‘A building can be organized to maximize interaction, so that people bump into each other and talk, drink, flirt, eat, complain, kibitz.’
    • ‘There is ample room for family members to kibitz with the cook, and adequate circulation space for guests who always seem to nosh where food and drinks are being served.’
    • ‘And as an editor there he got to kibitz and tipple with the likes of Dorothy Parker, Stephen Vincent Benet and P.G. Woodhouse.’
    • ‘It was one way to lighten up the patients in the hospital, kibitz a little bit.’
    • ‘We kibitzed about the game on Friday as he handed me a large piece of pumpkin pie that I devoured instantly.’
    • ‘The division of labor appears to be Lydon upstairs and Regis downstairs, but everyone works and kibitzes with everyone else.’


1920s: Yiddish, from colloquial German, from German Kiebitz interfering onlooker (literally lapwing).