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

In the first round, the two boys jabbed with their elbows and fired their knees like pistons into the other’s stomach. Shashank Bengalistaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Column One: Young Thai boxer looks like a lollipop, stings like a bee," 30 July 2019 The comment, according to Helmstetter, prompted the MAGA cap wearer’s companion to get up and jab her fingers into his chest. Tim Carman, Washington Post, "After confronting a diner in a MAGA hat, customer gets tossed from Hill Country Barbecue," 5 July 2019 Little had changed by the time of the final presidential debate on October 19th, when Mr Trump made finger-jabbing demands that China hand back Mr Kim. The Economist, "China crisis: October 2020," 4 July 2019 The four title belts now owned by favorite, jabbing son Andy Ruiz Jr. sat on the table in between Friday, each propped up with 12-packs of beer. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Boxing champ Andy Ruiz Jr. rewrites script for Imperial, himself," 21 June 2019 After months of jabbing each other from afar, President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden will overlap Tuesday in Iowa, a state that's critical to their political futures. Thomas Beaumont And Darlene Superville, chicagotribune.com, "Biden and Trump head to Iowa in a potential 2020 preview," 11 June 2019 Blake and Adam are known for jabbing each other during the episodes (though some fans thought Adam took it a little too far this year), but the duo are also close pals. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Here's What Blake Shelton Thinks About Adam Levine Leaving 'The Voice'," 25 May 2019 Mayfield jabbed back about Ehlinger's inability to beat his programs in high school or college then. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Baker Mayfield blasts Texas and quarterback Sam Ehlinger by calling hype of Longhorns 'crap'," 12 May 2019 After months of jabbing each other from afar, President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden will overlap Tuesday in Iowa, a state that’s critical to their political futures. Jaclyn Gallucci, Fortune, "Trump and Biden Head to Iowa in a Potential 2020 Preview," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At the end of the rant — which was met with applause — Miller finished his joke, a jab at the current administration. Danika Worthington, The Know, "Denver native T.J. Miller addresses sexual assault allegations during hometown show," 9 Aug. 2019 But a lot of it isn’t, and these videos can turn into hurtful jabs at creators. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "YouTube’s ‘creator-on-creator’ harassment policy could affect commentary videos," 5 Aug. 2019 Director Michael Bay also got in on the fun with a jab at Smith and his looks from their previous work together on the Bad Boys movies. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "Will Smith Swaps His Face Onto Wife Jada Pinkett in Hilarious Video as Kevin Hart and More React," 31 July 2019 But the modified symbol was loaded with jabs at the president — subtle and overt. Michael Brice-saddler, BostonGlobe.com, "The man who created the fake presidential seal is a former Republican fed up with Trump," 26 July 2019 Hardy drilled Adams with a jab early, and Adams responded with a single-leg takedown attempt, which ended up with Adams on his hands and knees. Dave Doyle, MMA Junkie, "UFC on ESPN 4 results: Greg Hardy rolls over Juan Adams," 20 July 2019 Kanter took Randle's ribbing in stride and responded with a jab of his own. Jenna West, SI.com, "Enes Kanter Thinks Zion Williamson Is 'Overhyped'," 26 June 2019 In a tweet warning the public about hot playground equipment, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission poked a jab at Arizona and its summertime heat. Mike Cruz, azcentral, "'Welcome to Arizona': Safety commission warns of hot playgrounds in comical tweet," 18 June 2019 But for politicians, the chance to tout a record – or sneak in a jab – is hard to pass up. Christian Science Monitor, "USA | Politics," 7 June 2019

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 above

History and Etymology for jab

Verb

alteration of job to strike

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about jab

Statistics for jab

Last Updated

2 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jab

The first known use of jab was in 1827

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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
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

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

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

marked by turns or indirection

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!