jive / jīv/ • n. 1. a lively style of dance popular esp. in the 1940s and 1950s, performed to swing music or rock and roll. ∎ swing music. ∎ a style of dance music popular in South Africa: township jive.
2. (also jive talk) a form of slang associated with black American jazz musicians. ∎ inf. a thing, esp. talk, that is deceptive or worthless: a single image says more than any amount of blather and jive.
• v. inf. 1. [intr.] perform the jive or a similar dance to popular music: people were jiving in the aisles.
2. [tr.] inf. taunt or sneer at: Willy kept jiving him until Jimmy left. ∎ [intr.] talk nonsense: he wasn't jiving about that bartender.
• adj. inf. deceitful or worthless.
DERIVATIVES: jiv·er n.jiv·ey adj.
JIVE, also jive talk.
(1) The SLANG
associated in the earlier 20c with such African-American forms of music as jive (swing, jazz, etc.). (2) In the later 20c, an informal term for flattering, deceptive, exaggerated, meaningless talk, especially among black Americans (Hey
, don't give me that jive
); DOUBLE TALK
: ‘Everything that we do must be aimed toward the total liberation, unification and empowerment of Afrika. Anything short of that is jive’ (Black World
, Oct. 1973). Compare BLARNEY
, arrive, chive, Clive, connive, contrive, deprive, dive, drive, five, gyve, hive, I've, jive, live, MI5, revive, rive, shrive, skive, strive, survive, swive, thrive
•skydive • swan dive • nosedive
•swallow dive • scuba-dive • Argive
•beehive • archive
a lively style of dance popular especially in the 1940s and 1950s, performed to swing music or rock and roll
Recorded from the 1920s (in the US, originally denoting meaningless or misleading speech).