jab

verb
\ ˈjab \
jabbed; jabbing

Definition of jab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to pierce with or as if with a sharp object : stab
b : to poke quickly or abruptly : thrust
2 : to strike with a short straight blow
3 : to pointedly tease or mock (someone) We joke around. … I was jabbing him about injuries he's had.Sports Illustrated

intransitive verb

1 : to make quick or abrupt thrusts with a sharp object
2 : to strike a person with a short straight blow
3 : to pointedly tease, mock, or make fun of someone At a moment's notice, he can produce a months-old editorial cartoon jabbing at him and seems genuinely hurt by the message.The New York Times

jab

noun

Definition of jab (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of jabbing especially : a short straight boxing punch delivered with the leading hand
2 : a pointed and often mocking comment or criticism He has a lot of fun with Ranovic, the oh-so-dramatic, eager young undercover cop who consistently fails to understand Salter's ironic jabs.— Jean MacFarlane Wright Undeterred, McCain continues with his standard stump speech, leaving in all the anti-Bush jabs.— Michelle Cottle

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Examples of jab in a Sentence

Verb

He jabbed at the other player with his hockey stick. The needle jabbed his arm. The needle jabbed into his arm.

Noun

She gave him a jab in the ribs. He threw a right jab to his opponent's body.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The candidates at first jabbed at each other behind the scenes, but a series of events this week brought the charges and counter-charges into public light. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "District attorney race takes a nasty turn," 1 Feb. 2018 Easy to jab it once, twice, three times into a dark raincoat-clad back. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Two unlikely cops are paired up to solve murders in a war-torn Tokyo in Ninth Step Station," 8 Dec. 2018 The president, who as a candidate in 2016 mocked McCain's capture in Vietnam, had jabbed at the ailing senator for voting against Republican efforts to roll back President Barack Obama's health care law. Laurie Kellman, Fox News, "For McCain, a cross-country farewell from public, presidents," 26 Aug. 2018 TheNew York Times cited security camera videos from nearby businesses that showed Vassell just moments before his death, startling people on the street and jabbing the pipe into one man’s chest. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "Video in Toronto killings shows a divide between U.S. and Canada on deadly force," 26 Apr. 2018 In reality, most girls from my school lost their virginity slumped against a tree in an apple orchard, bark jabbing uncomfortably into their spines, in between rounds of beer pong. Karley Sciortino, Vogue, "Is There a “Right” Way to Lose Your Virginity?," 19 Oct. 2018 The proposal for a detention center would jab at those complexities. Adam Geller, The Seattle Times, "A community that backed Trump says no to migrant detention center," 30 July 2018 In his lifetime, Wojnarowicz became a star, though an unconventional one, unsmooth, unpredictable, unstylish even, with his clotted paint, uncouth symbols, and jabbing ideas and words. New York Times, "He Spoke Out During the AIDS Crisis. See Why His Art Still Matters.," 12 July 2018 Sessions has occasionally seemed to jab back at Trump. Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, "‘We just need to keep pushing on’: Why Trump’s attacks won’t make Jeff Sessions quit," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

About half of pregnant women didn’t get their flu shot, and a third of people who work in long-term care facilities skipped a jab, too. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Last year’s flu was brutal—killing 80,000—but vaccine did better than expected," 27 Sep. 2018 Perhaps his perfect inning Wednesday was the first jab. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Kiner-Falefa's debut has been fun, but he won't unseat Odor | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 25 Apr. 2018 Some may give this verse a pass as a joke, and some put the thrust of the jab on the fact that Thug was stealing from Minaj’s closet, but there seems to be more at play here. Mikelle Street, Teen Vogue, "Nicki Minaj Is Being Accused of Queerphobia On Her New Album "Queen"," 13 Aug. 2018 Eminem released a surprise album Thursday night and appeared to reignite his feud with President Trump, with some of his new songs taking jabs at the commander in chief. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Eminem takes fresh shots at Trump, press in surprise album," 31 Aug. 2018 Then get the heart rate pumping by standing up and performing a jab-cross with the dumbbells. Leah Prinzivalli, SELF, "Jennifer Lopez's 8-Move Arm and Back Workout Is a Total-Body Challenge," 5 Oct. 2018 The 70th Annual Emmy Awards kicked off with a slew of political jokes and jabs as expected. Sasha Savitsky, Fox News, "Emmys host Michael Che says the only white people who thank Jesus at award shows are Republicans, 'ex-crackheads'," 18 Sep. 2018 Her comments are widely-reported on, and Twitter lives for every time Teigen dishes out a (harmless) jab. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Chrissy Teigen Has a Very Long, Hilarious History of Trolling John Legend," 17 July 2018 The latest round of jokes is reminiscent of the controversy that surrounded Stephen Colbert's jab at the duo in 2017, and the jokes have even inspired street art. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump's Meeting with Vladimir Putin Sparked Homophobic Jokes, and Critics Called It Out," 16 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jab.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of jab

Verb

1827, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1872, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jab

Verb

alteration of job to strike

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Statistics for jab

Last Updated

4 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jab

The first known use of jab was in 1827

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More Definitions for jab

jab

verb

English Language Learners Definition of jab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to push something sharp or hard quickly or suddenly into or toward someone or something

: to be pushed quickly and suddenly into someone or a part of someone's body

jab

noun

English Language Learners Definition of jab (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick or sudden hit with something sharp or hard

boxing : a short, straight punch

: an injection of something (such as medicine) into your body with a needle

jab

verb
\ ˈjab \
jabbed; jabbing

Kids Definition of jab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to poke quickly or suddenly with or as if with something sharp He jabbed me with a stick.

jab

noun

Kids Definition of jab (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick or sudden poke

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More from Merriam-Webster on jab

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jab

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jab

Spanish Central: Translation of jab

Nglish: Translation of jab for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jab for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jab

Comments on jab

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