Definition of jalopy in US English:



  • An old car in a dilapidated condition.

    ‘his father got worried about him driving that old jalopy—it wasn't safe’
    • ‘The '56 Mercury sputtered along like an old jalopy.’
    • ‘The neglected poverty-stricken landscape of Motown is captured throughout the film by the trailer homes, abandoned buildings and jalopies in shades of muted gray, browns, greens and rust.’
    • ‘He was driving an old jalopy, but when Ernie Reisinger saw the car he said, ‘You can't drive that.’
    • ‘Well, the Navy just took its first taxi, and it's taking us where we need to go much faster than its old jalopy.’
    • ‘I remember Dave telling me how surprised he was that George was driving an old jalopy that barely ran.’
    motor car, automobile, motor, machine
    View synonyms


1920s (originally US): of unknown origin.