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

The suspect lunged, jabbed and threatened to harm the employee with the knife before fleeing. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "Police accuse Redmond O'Neal of violent crime spree, knife attacks," 9 June 2018 Zhang and Tencent founder Pony Ma have jabbed at each other in public, and the companies have filed multiple lawsuits against one another. Sam Byford, The Verge, "How China’s Bytedance became the world’s most valuable startup," 30 Nov. 2018 The candidates at first jabbed at each other behind the scenes, but a series of events this week brought the charges and counter-charges into public light. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "District attorney race takes a nasty turn," 1 Feb. 2018 Easy to jab it once, twice, three times into a dark raincoat-clad back. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Two unlikely cops are paired up to solve murders in a war-torn Tokyo in Ninth Step Station," 8 Dec. 2018 The president, who as a candidate in 2016 mocked McCain's capture in Vietnam, had jabbed at the ailing senator for voting against Republican efforts to roll back President Barack Obama's health care law. Laurie Kellman, Fox News, "For McCain, a cross-country farewell from public, presidents," 26 Aug. 2018 TheNew York Times cited security camera videos from nearby businesses that showed Vassell just moments before his death, startling people on the street and jabbing the pipe into one man’s chest. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "Video in Toronto killings shows a divide between U.S. and Canada on deadly force," 26 Apr. 2018 In reality, most girls from my school lost their virginity slumped against a tree in an apple orchard, bark jabbing uncomfortably into their spines, in between rounds of beer pong. Karley Sciortino, Vogue, "Is There a “Right” Way to Lose Your Virginity?," 19 Oct. 2018 The proposal for a detention center would jab at those complexities. Adam Geller, The Seattle Times, "A community that backed Trump says no to migrant detention center," 30 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Cormier answered with effective jabs, but Miocic came back with good power punches as the action moved to the center of the ring for a slugfest. Lance Pugmire, latimes.com, "Daniel Cormier knocks out Stipe Miocic in first round for second belt at UFC 226," 8 July 2018 The sixth round was as close to a winning round that Horn would see, but Crawford continued to serve a shutout by blocking punches and countering with stinging jabs to the face. W.g. Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Terence Crawford scores TKO over Jeff Horn, wins WBO welterweight title," 10 June 2018 Image President Trump has the power to sink pharmaceutical stocks with a single jab about high drug prices. Katie Thomas, New York Times, "6 Takeaways From Trump’s Plans to Try to Lower Drug Prices," 11 May 2018 Nonetheless, Joshua controlled the bout with solid left jabs and straight rights to the head. Santos A. Perez, miamiherald, "These two boxers in the 154-pound division pumped up for their unification bout Saturday | Miami Herald," 2 Apr. 2018 With Dorsey’s jab, everyone had a nice laugh at Mayfield’s expense, Mayfield included. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "John Dorsey greeted OU's Baker Mayfield with a biting question during NFL Combine," 8 Mar. 2018 But the unspoken rivalry spiraled out of control when Brandy appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to perform the track without Monica, which possibly was a jab at her for using the song’s title for the name of her album. Nicole Sands, PEOPLE.com, "The Song Is Hers: Did Brandy Shade Monica with Sassy New 'The Boy Is Mine' Lyric?," 9 July 2018 According to NBC News, the 10% duty on yogurt, which the country imports mostly from one plant in Wisconsin, is a jab at House Speaker Paul Ryan, who’s from there. Erin Corbett, Fortune, "Canada's Import Tariffs On U.S. Goods Go Into Effect," 1 July 2018 Wolf’s third level here was a nasty jab, likening Huckabee Sanders to the homophobic cliché of the female softball coach: a mannish, hectoring bully. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "It’s Okay to Be Offended by Michelle Wolf’s Jokes," 30 Apr. 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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Statistics for jab

Last Updated

15 Feb 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 \
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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