Definition of heebie-jeebies in English:


plural noun

  • A state of nervous fear or anxiety.

    ‘it takes a lot more than a measly poltergeist to give me the heebie-jeebies’
    • ‘Okay, so she might be overreacting and a drama queen about this but… whatever that was in that metal box really gave her the heebie-jeebies.’
    • ‘And frankly, riding in traffic for a few years gives you a collective attack of the heebie-jeebies.’
    • ‘Even the police detective, who leads the enquiry into multiple murders on the property, is not immune to a touch of the heebie-jeebies.’
    • ‘And as someone with a degree in biology, many of the applications of genetic engineering give me the heebie-jeebies.’
    • ‘‘This place gives me the heebie-jeebies,’ Katie said slowly taking in breath.’
    • ‘Cook said he, too, has had a recent experience that gave him the heebie-jeebies.’
    • ‘It gives you the heebie-jeebies because he's not crazy; he's probably like a lot of regular people you see, interact with and never really think about.’
    • ‘‘Seriously, she gives me the heebie-jeebies,’ you added.’
    • ‘I still get the heebie-jeebies, of course, but that's because my reputation is on the line.’
    • ‘It is horrible and gives me the heebie-jeebies.’
    • ‘Just the thought of it is starting to give me the heebie-jeebies.’
    • ‘The list was enough to give me the heebie-jeebies.’
    • ‘I looked all around, especially at all the people wearing black, they are giving me the heebie-jeebies the way they look like they're looking at me, but they really aren't.’
    • ‘The thought is giving companies the heebie-jeebies.’
    • ‘It gives me the heebie-jeebies just typing it, to be honest with you.’
    • ‘The image of the accused killer just gives me the heebie-jeebies.’
    • ‘‘This forest gives me the heebie-jeebies,’ she whispered.’
    • ‘I didn't, in this case, because the guy had already given me the heebie-jeebies, but pretty much any other time that's my reaction.’
    • ‘The idea of storing and refreshing this file preview information somewhere also gave us a touch of the heebie-jeebies.’
    • ‘If visualisation has been a big part of England's preparations in the recent rain-blighted fortnight, then the sight of a typically flat, dry, grassless pitch will have given many of the squad the heebie-jeebies.’


1920s: coined by W. B. DeBeck (1890–1942), American cartoonist, in his comic strip Barney Google.