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

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 De León has jabbed Feinstein for being out of touch with voters and argued Californians are clamoring for change. Taryn Luna, sacbee, "Number two spot in U.S. Senate race up for grabs," 5 June 2018 Even Covered California, the ACA marketplace, has jabbed at the feds. Ana B. Ibarra, latimes.com, "California leads nation in pushing back against Trump health policies," 19 Apr. 2018 Sheriff's Deputy Aaron Sieczkowski remembers rushing into a crowded Southeast Portland homeless shelter in April and locking eyes with an angry man jabbing his neck with a knife and gushing blood. Aimee Green, OregonLive.com, "Police officers describe 'pandemonium' during fatal homeless shelter shooting," 11 June 2018 De León jabbed Feinstein for being out of touch with voters and argued Californians are clamoring for change. Taryn Luna, sacbee, "Number two spot in U.S. Senate race up for grabs," 5 June 2018 But happy couples with bouquets and rings are certainly an easier sell than people jabbing needles into their necks. Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco would defy federal law with safe injection sites," 21 May 2018 There was no initial goal call on the play, reminiscent of a sequence in Game 2 in which the red goal light remained unlit after Pittsburgh's Patric Hornqvist jabbed at it from in front. Will Graves, baltimoresun.com, "Guentzel's two goals help Penguins beat Capitals, 3-1, even series at 2," 3 May 2018 The pass sped past the outstretched foot of one Dash defender to Heath, who jabbed the ball past Campbell as another defender rode her hip. Glynn A. Hill, Houston Chronicle, "Dash's unbeaten streak ends with loss to Thorns," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The increasingly acrimonious Republican Party primary for U.S. Senate has spilled over to the airwaves this week with Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir trading verbal jabs on talk radio. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin U.S. Senate race: Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir trade verbal jabs on talk radio," 11 July 2018 But, as has become commonplace, the biggest news coming out of the event surrounded Trump's own comments, which included a racist remark about Sen. Elizabeth Warren and a jab at the #MeToo movement. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Donald Trump Takes Aim at The 'Me Too Generation' at Montana Rally," 6 July 2018 Still, the budding friendship hasn't stopped either man from taking good-natured jabs at the other, jokes that in hindsight might have been made with this match in mind. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Report: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson Planning $10 Million, Winner-Take-All Match," 6 July 2018 The media ate up the jab, but there’s no denying that the news was anything but a joke to Match and the rest of the online dating industry. Leigh Gallagher, Fortune, "Match Is the Sweetheart of Online Dating—But Can It Fend Off Facebook and Bumble?," 27 June 2018 The original jacket, which President Trump defended as a jab at the media, retailed for just $39. Leah Rodriguez, The Cut, "The Melania Jacket Is Selling for $850 on EBay," 27 June 2018 But the jab at Obama is a stark contrast with the way immigration was covered during the previous administration. Brian Flood, Fox News, "TIME cover paints Trump as immigration ‘boogeyman,’ in striking contrast with Obama coverage," 22 June 2018 Internationale,’ a jab at Macron’s pro-business overhauls. Kenzie Bryant, Vanities, "Emmanuel Macron Finally Got to Play Father to a Bratty Teen," 19 June 2018 The latest jab was from Ball, who released a fiery, personal diss track about Kuzma on Monday. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "Young Lakers kindly praise each other after reportedly being told to tone down trolling," 14 June 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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Learn More about jab

Phrases Related to jab

take a jab at

Statistics for jab

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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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Comments on jab

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