jab

verb
\ ˈjab How to pronounce jab (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As the men lay bleeding, begging for mercy — one of them died two days later from internal injuries — the officers laughed, jabbed them with their sticks and made them sing the national anthem. New York Times, "How Delhi’s Police Turned Against Muslims," 12 Mar. 2020 Related: The initial investigation involved one victim who allegedly was held facedown on the floor by two players while a third jabbed him with a broomstick near the buttocks. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "4 De La Salle honors students, athletes arraigned in hazing case," 24 Feb. 2020 Trump, who’s delighted in jabbing at Warren, took to Twitter to celebrate the chaos. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren drops out of Democratic race for White House," 5 Mar. 2020 The appearance comes just one day after Barr was the butt of many jokes at the 2018 Emmy Awards, where several stars jabbed her for her political rhetoric and the abrupt cancellation of her show. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "Roseanne Barr says she'll move to Israel when 'The Conners' premieres to study Hebrew," 18 Sep. 2018 Ernst did not directly address the president’s conduct, but jabbed at House Democrats for trying to impose their own conventional wisdom onto how Trump conducted diplomacy. Patricia Mazzei, BostonGlobe.com, "Susan Collins announces she will vote to acquit Trump," 4 Feb. 2020 Many of the comments jabbed at Pollock's injury history or took aim at Dodgers fans. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Arizona Diamondbacks fans bash Los Angeles Dodgers' A.J. Pollock for bashing Dbacks fans," 29 Jan. 2020 In various healing ceremonies, a man who had summoned a spirit slashed at his tongue with a razor and jabbed it into his bare chest. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Venezuelans seek strength, healing from mythical goddess," 14 Oct. 2019 If the addict was helpless, then so, too, was the young physician: To try to treat addiction was to discover an inverted form of doctoring, in which the patient and doctor turned into wary, suspicious aliens circling and jabbing at each other. Siddhartha Mukherjee, New York Times, "A Doctor’s Painful Struggle With an Opioid-Addicted Patient," 1 Feb. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One dynamic to look for is how the candidates react to one another without real-time audience engagement to help them understand how certain jabs or jokes are playing. WSJ, "Biden, Sanders Democratic Debate — Live Analysis," 16 Mar. 2020 The first of the president’s partisan jabs came before dawn Thursday and had nothing to do with the coronavirus or anything that had happened in the past few days. Peter Baker, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump attacks Democrats hours after calling for bipartisanship," 12 Mar. 2020 Bench coach Kai Correa went out of his way to give Wotus a fun little jab on Wotus’ 59th birthday last week for the entire clubhouse to see. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants Splash: Assuming a bad bullpen won’t matter? Think again," 11 Mar. 2020 Klobuchar tried to offer herself as the alternate to Biden in the more moderate lane of the Democratic Party, often restricting her comments to jabs at President Donald Trump. Tim Darnell, ajc, "Amy Klobuchar ends campaign, will endorse Biden | Buttigieg endorsement ‘imminent’," 2 Mar. 2020 But these fleeting jabs were fair response to their targets’ demagogic sniping. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Trump’s Curious Libel Lawsuit against the New York Times," 28 Feb. 2020 Biden also snuck in a couple jabs at Sanders, again rapping his Democratic rival over Sanders’ past opposition to a major gun control bill. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "In must-win South Carolina, Joe Biden mounts what could be his presidential campaign’s last stand," 26 Feb. 2020 But Warren, who took at least one jab at every other candidate on the stage in Nevada, has also shown a new readiness to take a swing at her longtime Senate ally Bernie Sanders. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "South Carolina Democratic debate edition — Daily Trail Markers," 25 Feb. 2020 Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg launched a series of effective punches against the Vermont senator, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar landed a strong jab at Sanders' Medicare-for-all proposal. TheWeek, "Do Bernie Sanders' opponents know he's winning?," 22 Feb. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of jab

Verb

1827, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1872, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for jab

Verb

alteration of job to strike

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about jab

Statistics for jab

Last Updated

28 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Jab.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jab. Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for jab

jab

verb
How to pronounce jab (audio)

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

jab

verb
\ 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.

jab

noun

Kids Definition of jab (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick or sudden poke

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on jab

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jab

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

What made you want to look up jab? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!