\ ˈjab How to pronounce jab (audio) \
jabbed; jabbing; jabs

Definition of jab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to pierce with or as if with a sharp object : stab She jabbed the steak with her fork. The nurse jabbed the needle into my arm.
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


plural jabs

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
3 chiefly British, informal : an injection of something (such as medicine) into one's body with a needle … he would be the first in line to get a jab of the approved coronavirus vaccine if he could …— Alessandra Scotto di Santolo We're averaging 3 million jabs in arms a day.— Ali Velshi

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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 McConnell spot also jabbed at McGrath, but in that instance Kentucky's Democratic governor did not speak out against the use of his image in the advertisement. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, 16 May 2020 President Donald Trump, once friendly with Stephenson, wasted no time jabbing him over his departure. NBC News, 24 Apr. 2020 McConnell has eagerly jabbed at Democrats over the issue in the past several weeks. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, 8 May 2020 Reid jabbed Sanders’s healthcare plan but refused to give his endorsement to any of the candidates ahead of Nevada’s caucuses on Saturday. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, 19 Feb. 2020 The suspect appeared to wield at least one sharp object and attempted to jab the man with it several times. Fox News, 20 Feb. 2020 After Biden took a jab at Steyer, a former hedge fund manager, for investing in a private prison company, Steyer jabbed back at Biden for writing a crime bill that Steyer said led to mass incarceration of black and Latino men. USA TODAY, 26 Feb. 2020 Fewer people dotting the surrounding neighborhood slumping against walls, jabbing needles into their necks and discarding dirty syringes on the sidewalks. Heather Knight, SFChronicle.com, 26 Oct. 2019 But to get jabbed by the president of a mediocre Pac-12 school that isn’t even on the Wolverines level in terms of talent, wins, NFL players or any other standard of measurement over the past five years, is ridiculous. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, 17 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On Exxon’s earnings call roughly a month before the proxy battle, Neil Mehta, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, made a jab at CEO Darren Woods for only appearing on one earnings call a year. Jinjoo Lee, WSJ, 3 June 2021 His tweet Wednesday wasn't a jab at Rodgers; rather, Koepka offered his sympathy to Rodgers getting paired with DeChambeau. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 May 2021 The idea of an Oklahoma meat week in March was a jab at Colorado Gov. Jared Polis's meat-free day on March 20 to encourage residents to opt for an eco- and animal-friendly alternative. Marisa Schultz, Fox News, 13 May 2021 Taz complaining he wasn’t acknowledged by Christian seemed to be a subtle jab at WWE for doing the same thing to Taz on Twitter. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2021 Shewfelt's cheeky response was a not-so-subtle jab at Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur, who has come under heavy scrutiny ever since NFC title game on Jan. 24. NBC News, 6 Apr. 2021 With many schools closed for a year now due to the pandemic, the GOP letter was clearly a jab at Democrats and President Joe Biden on what’s become a partisan issue in the pandemic. Benjamin Siegel, ABC News, 8 Mar. 2021 The show’s title is a soft jab at the extreme far-right’s appropriation of Mac Tonight, the former McDonald’s commercial star that looked like a smiling piano player with a crescent moon for a head. Christopher Mosley, Dallas News, 3 Mar. 2021 Bad Test Bob -- a jab at Baffert’s recent rash of drug positives. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 28 May 2021

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


1827, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1872, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for jab


alteration of job to strike

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Learn More About jab

Statistics for jab

Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jab.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jab. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for jab



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



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


\ ˈjab How to pronounce jab (audio) \
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.



Kids Definition of jab (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick or sudden poke

More from Merriam-Webster on jab

Nglish: Translation of jab for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jab for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jab


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