Commonly Confused Words: Jibe vs. Jive

When I watched “Grease” for the first time, I fell in love with the music and wanted to stand up and dance when “Born to Hand Jive” came on. That was my first experience with the word jive, and I had no idea what the word meant. Now I do, and I want to share it with you. So, let’s discover the differences between the words jibe vs. jive, and learn how to use them in sentences.

Jibe vs. Jive at a Glance

When words aren’t familiar, it can be difficult to identify how to use them correctly in your writing. Jibe vs. jive are two such words. Here is some basic information on each of them to help ease your possible confusion.

  • Jibe is both a noun and a verb. It can mean to taunt, agree with or move rapidly.
  • Jive can be used as a noun, verb or adjective. It refers to foolish talk, being a phony person and a style of movement.

What’s the Difference Between Jibe and Jive?

Yes, jibe and jive are confused all the time, but the jibe vs. jive definition are very different from one another. If you are referring to boats or mean verbal taunts, use jibe. When blogging to your followers about a dance or crazy hipster phase, use jiveJive also describes foolish conversation.

When To Use Jibe

You can use the verb jibe in three different ways. The most common use of jibe is when referring to comments or thoughts not agreeing with someone else’s ideas. You can also use the word when you are writing about one person taunting another in a disrespectful way.

If you are blogging about a sailing incident that involves sudden, forceful movement, you can also use jibe.

Examples of using jibe in a sentence:

  • Her explanation doesn’t jibe with what the other diners said about the chef’s accident.
  • The men yelled jibes as Melinda walked by the construction site.
  • The sail jibed and almost thrust the boat off course with the sudden movement.

When To Use Jive

Jive can be used as a noun, verb or adjective. As a noun, jive refers to foolish talk or deceptive conversation, but it can also refer to a type of dance performed to swing music. The verb reference of jive is almost the same as when used as a noun; again, it means talking foolishly, being deceptive, and moving in a specific way to swing music. When using jive as an adjective, it refers to someone or something that is phony.

Examples of using jibe in a sentence:

  • As he shouted louder to draw attention, the crowd shook their heads and dispersed as they recognized his jive talk.
  • You can’t count on Jack for accurate information because he jives everyone.
  • They went from swing dancing to hand jiving, and the crowd cheered.
  • Jeremy lied to his boss too many times, so his jive excuses about being late won’t work anymore.

Jibe vs. Jive Are Commonly Confused

If you are still confused about how to use jibe vs. jive, I have some helpful hints. When referring to a boat or someone being mean, use jibe. If you are writing about someone being phony or a crazy dance movement, use jive. Lastly, when describing two things or ideas that don’t fit together, use jibe. The English language contains many confusing words. If you have some examples of words or phrases that confuse you, comment below. We would love to help you clear that confusion away!


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