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

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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

British politics is now trapped in a weird impasse as these two extremists face each other across the aisle, bellowing and finger-jabbing. The Economist, "British politics goes into the upside down," 5 Sep. 2019 That sent Lucchesi hopping off the mound, jabbing both arms in front of him and hollering. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Lucchesi lasts longer, as Padres beat Giants," 31 Aug. 2019 Many of his colleagues remember a 2001 argument in which a hot-headed former Sen. John Carona, almost a foot shorter than West, crossed the Senate floor to angrily jab his index finger into West’s chest. Dallas News, "Against fresh faces in race to unseat John Cornyn, Dallas' Royce West says his record sets him apart," 28 July 2019 Musgraves makes a real show of it, spinning around in a circle and jabbing each toward the audience for emphasis. Eric Ray Davidson, Glamour, "Kacey Musgraves Isn’t Trying to Please Anybody but Herself," 28 Mar. 2019 Peter jabbed impatiently at his phone, scanning the encrypted-messaging groups that the protesters use to coördinate their actions. Megan K. Stack, The New Yorker, "Bravery and Nihilism Amid the Protests in Hong Kong," 31 Aug. 2019 Most people who’ve been jabbed by a needle know the drill: First the pierce, then the sharp, searing pain and an urge to pull away, or at least wince. National Geographic, "Newly discovered organ may be lurking under your skin," 15 Aug. 2019 Buzz60 Police arrested a woman who allegedly jabbed at a Florida sea turtle nest with a wooden stick. Kristin Lam, USA TODAY, "Police saw a woman 'stomping' around a sea turtle nest at Miami Beach. She's in jail now," 16 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The sandwich wars waged on Twitter began Aug. 19, when Chick-fil-A appeared to take a jab at the new fried chicken sandwich that Popeyes had begun offering this month. Janelle Griffith, NBC News, "Tennessee man sues Popeyes for running out of chicken sandwiches," 30 Aug. 2019 The New York Times reported earlier this week that Perdue took a jab at farmers for complaining about the president's trade war during a townhall-style event this month. CBS News, "Agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue says Trump will take action on ethanol waivers," 28 Aug. 2019 Smith sent Rice defensive back Prudy Calderon's head spinning with an inside-out jab step, feigning outside then streaking down the middle of the field. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "In WR Jake Smith, Texas has yet another offensive weapon," 15 Sep. 2019 Kimmel poked fun at the ages of Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sandersand Julián Castro’s jab at Biden. BostonGlobe.com, "“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”," 14 Sep. 2019 Tua Tagovailoa took a friendly jab this week at the official scoring of his 75-yard backward swing pass to Henry Ruggs III to open last Saturday’s game with a touchdown. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, "A look at the key factors in Alabama-South Carolina," 14 Sep. 2019 Castro, who spoke next, revived a jab that Sen. Cory Booker used in a previous debate, arguing that Biden sides with Obama for all of his successes and retreats behind the vice presidential title when asked about his faults. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "'Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,' says Beto O'Rourke," 12 Sep. 2019 Ten Democrats running for president slugged their way through a three-hour debate Thursday that featured sharp jabs and underscored deep divisions among the candidates hoping to take on President Donald Trump next fall. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Democratic debate featured frontrunners who battled each other, attacked Trump," 12 Sep. 2019 In it, the Nuggets’ emerging superstar takes a self-effacing jab at … himself. Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post, "Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic pokes fun at his younger, chubbier self in commercial," 27 Aug. 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.

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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

11 Oct 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
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

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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

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