Definition of jalopy in US English:



  • An old car in a dilapidated condition.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I remember Dave telling me how surprised he was that George was driving an old jalopy that barely ran.’
    • ‘Well, the Navy just took its first taxi, and it's taking us where we need to go much faster than its old jalopy.’
    motor car, automobile, motor, machine
    View synonyms


1920s (originally US): of unknown origin.