A jiffy is a brief amount of time — an instant, or a split second. When you're really tired at the end of a long day, you probably fall asleep in a jiffy after lying in bed.

Jiffy is an informal word that can substitute for "quickly" or "in the blink of an eye." A speeding taxi will get you to your destination in a jiffy, and a really well-trained dog will come in a jiffy when you call her name. Not much is known about the origin of jiffy, other than the fact that it was once "thieves' slang" for "lightning."

Definitions of jiffy

n a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat)

New York minute, blink of an eye, flash, heartbeat, instant, split second, trice, twinkling, wink
Type of:
bit, minute, mo, moment, second
an indefinitely short time

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.