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This page has 7 definitions of jostle in English. Jostle is a verb and noun. Also define these 18 related words and terms: transitive, intransitive, bump, brush, aside, lascar, pushing and shoving, close, physical, contact, contend, vie, acquire, pick, pockets, push, shove, and crowd.



Originally justle (to have sex with), formed from Middle English jousten, from the Old French joster (to joust), from Latin iuxtā (next to), from iungō (join, connect), equivalent to joust +‎ -le.



jostle (third-person singular simple present jostles, present participle jostling, simple past and past participle jostled)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To bump into or brush against while in motion; to push aside.
    • 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, London: J. Johnson, Part 1, Chapter 13, Section 3, pp. 434-435,[1]
      Besides, various are the paths to power and fame which by accident or choice men pursue, and though they jostle against each other, for men of the same profession are seldom friends, yet there is a much greater number of their fellow-creatures with whom they never clash. But women are very differently situated with respect to each other—for they are all rivals.
    • 1832, Isaac Taylor, Saturday Evening, Chapter 12, p. 214,[2]
      It is not that there are several systems of movement, physical, intellectual, and moral, which are perpetually jostling each other, or which clash whenever they come in contact, and which move on by the one vanquishing the other. But, on the contrary, each of these economies takes its uninterrupted course, as if there were no other moving within the same space []
    • 1849, Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, Volume 1, Chapter 3, pp. 370-371,[3]
      [] when the lord of a Lincolnshire or Shropshire manor appeared in Fleet Street, he was as easily distinguished from the resident population as a Turk or a Lascar. [] Bullies jostled him into the kennel. Hackney coachmen splashed him from head to foot. []
    • 1918, Gerard Manley Hopkins, “[Poem 63]”, in Robert Bridges, editor, Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins: Now First Published [], London: Humphrey Milford, OCLC 5093462, page 83:
      His locks [] / [] like a juicy and jostling shock / Of bluebells sheaved in May
    • Aside definition
      To or on one side so as to be out of the way.
  2. (intransitive) To move through by pushing and shoving.
  3. (transitive) To be close to or in physical contact with.
    • 1859, Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, London: John Murray, Chapter 4, p. 114,[5]
      [] the advantages of diversification of structure, with the accompanying differences of habit and constitution, determine that the inhabitants, which thus jostle each other most closely, shall, as a general rule, belong to what we call different genera and orders.
    • Close definition
      To remove a gap.
      1. To obstruct (an opening).
      2. To move so that an opening is closed. (1 of 13 close definitions)
  4. (intransitive) To contend or vie in order to acquire something.
    • 1819, Walter Scott, The Bride of Lammermoor, in Tales of My Landlord, Edinburgh: Archibald Constable, Third Series, Volume 1, Chapter 1, p. 22,[6]
      Dick, who, in serious earnest, was supposed to have considerable natural talents for his profession, and whose vain and sanguine disposition never permitted him to doubt for a moment of ultimate success, threw himself headlong into the crowd which jostled and struggled for notice and preferment.
    • 1917, Rudyard Kipling, “The Children,” poem accompanying the story “The Honours of War” in A Diversity of Creatures, London: Macmillan, pp. 129-130,[7]
      [] Our statecraft, our learning
      Delivered them bound to the Pit and alive to the burning
      Whither they mirthfully hastened as jostling for honour.
  5. (dated, slang) To pick or attempt to pick pockets.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also


jostle (plural jostles)

  1. The act of jostling someone or something; push, shove.
    • 1722, Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders, London: J. Cooke, 1765, p. 241,[8]
      I had full hold of her Watch, but giving a great Jostle, as if somebody had thrust me against her, and in the Juncture giving the Watch a fair pull, I found it would not come, so I let it go that Moment, and cried out as if I had been killed, that somebody had trod upon my Foot []
    • Push definition
      To apply a force to (an object) such that it moves away from the person or thing applying the force. (1 of 16 push definitions)
  2. The action of a jostling crowd.
    • 1865, Harriet Beecher Stowe (under the pseudonym Christopher Crowfield), The Chimney-Corner, Boston: Ticknor & Field, 1868, Chapter 12, p. 291,[9]
      For years to come, the average of lone women will be largely increased; and the demand, always great, for some means by which they many provide for themselves, in the rude jostle of the world, will become more urgent and imperative.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.