a. Jazz or swing music.
b. The jargon of jazz musicians and enthusiasts.
2. Slang Deceptive, nonsensical, or glib talk: "the sexist, locker-room jive of men boasting and bonding" (Trip Gabriel).
v. jived, jiv·ing, jives
1. To play or dance to jive music.
a. To talk in an exaggerated, teasing, or misleading way.
b. To talk or chat: "You just jive in one big group, putting each other on, trying to top the last line" (Time).
3. (Usage Problem) To be in accord.
To speak to (someone) in an exaggerated, teasing, or misleading way.
Misleading, phony, or worthless: talking jive nonsense.
jivey, jivy adj.
Usage Note: The verb jive is often used in place of its near sound-alike jibe to mean "to be compatible, agree." The Usage Panel views this as a mistake. In our 2004 survey, 93 percent of the Panel rejected the sentence The two accounts of the incident didn't quite jive.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.