\ ˈjak How to pronounce jack (audio) \
plural jacks

Definition of jack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a jacks plural in form but singular in construction : a game played with a set of small objects that are tossed, caught, and moved in various figures
b : a small 6-pointed metal object used in the game of jacks
2a : a playing card carrying the figure of a soldier or servant and ranking usually below the queen
3 : any of various usually mechanical devices: such as
a : a usually portable mechanism or device for exerting pressure or lifting a heavy body a short distance
b : a device for turning a spit
4 : a female fitting in an electric circuit used with a plug to make a connection with another circuit
5a : man usually used as an intensive in such phrases as every man jack
b often capitalized : sailor
6 : something that supports or holds in position: such as
a : an iron bar at a topgallant masthead to support a royal mast and spread the royal shrouds
b : a wooden brace fastened behind a scenic unit in a stage set to prop it up
7a : any of several fishes especially : any of various carangids
b : a male donkey
d : any of several birds (such as a jackdaw)
8a : a small white target ball in lawn bowling
b : a small national flag flown by a ship
9 slang : money
10a : applejack
b : brandy
13 US slang : anything at all used in negative constructionsIn short, Dinger or Homer or whoever it was who wrote the Odyssey didn't know jack about travel.— Steve Rushin


jacked; jacking; jacks

Definition of jack (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to move or lift by or as if by a jack
b : to raise the level of usually used with upjack up the price
c : to take to task
2 : to hunt or fish for at night with a jacklight

intransitive verb

: to hunt or fish at night with a jacklight

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Other Words from jack


jacker noun

Synonyms for jack

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of jack in a Sentence

Noun I'd buy that watch, but I don't have the jack right now. a Portuguese ship flying the national jack
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There are never too many ways to use Hill: The jack-of-all-trades weapon for the Saints was at it again. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Vikings deal Saints another playoff heartbreak with overtime win," 6 Jan. 2020 There are never too many ways to use Hill: The jack-of-all-trades weapon for the Saints was at it again. Jarrett Bell, azcentral, "Vikings down Saints in OT to advance in NFL playoffs," 5 Jan. 2020 Plug the other end of the 3.5-mm cable into your electronic device's headphone jack. Ben Finio, Scientific American, "Build Your Own Speaker," 5 Dec. 2019 Keep in mind there is no headphone jack, so this is a wireless experience, but the battery life estimates are on par with other headphones. CNN Underscored, "Beats Solo Pro headphones pack a punch with sound, noise cancellation and a sleek design," 15 Oct. 2019 Featuring three bats, a spooky tree, a tombstone and a jack-o-lantern, this wreath has all of the tokens of Halloween displayed in an approachable and not-at-all scary way. Alicia Kortendick, oregonlive, "15 Halloween decorations that’ll get you in the holiday spirit," 26 Sep. 2019 Like the Pro variant, there’s still a microSD card slot and a headphone jack. Sam Byford, The Verge, "Realme 5 and 5 Pro announced with quad cameras and low prices," 20 Aug. 2019 Wilson spent a good portion of his training camp lining up against tight ends or playing in the nickel, preparing to be a jack-of-all-trades this season. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Marvell Tell, Quincy Wilson go on divergent paths, but might be needed vs. Texans," 19 Nov. 2019 Garza and the Falcons knotted it up on the next drive as the jack-of-all-trades junior punched home a 1-yard touchdown at the 4:19 mark. Rob Tate, Houston Chronicle, "Episcopal takes down Kinkaid for SPC title," 9 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The vehicle, which had been stolen in a car-jacking, was towed, determined to be too damaged to repair and estimated to be worth $5,000. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Driver escapes after leading police on a 100 mph chase through three cities and causing multiple crashes," 7 Jan. 2020 Police say the suspects had car-jacked a woman at the West 117th Street Target at 3:20 p.m., and an off-duty officer followed the car. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Cleveland police policy allows high-speed chase for violent crimes: Here’s what they must consider," 21 Dec. 2019 So jack up the front of the car, which gets the coolant fill neck as high as possible. Mike Allen, Popular Mechanics, "How to Flush Your Radiator and Cooling System," 11 Dec. 2019 So the services have launched the digital equivalent of the old cable promos: lure you in with discounted rates, then jack up the price after a year or two. Mae Anderson, chicagotribune.com, "Freebies are the key hook in new ‘streaming wars’," 7 Nov. 2019 The alert that a semi had jacked knifed came from the Fort Mitchell Police Department came through at 9:38 a.m. The road reopened around 12:10 p.m., according to TRIMARC. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Update: Southbound I-71/75 in Northern Kentucky has reopened," 26 Aug. 2019 It was explicitly intended to be a softer approach than simply jacking up the retirement age and leaving bigger changes for later. Washington Post, "Emmanuel Macron Battles Against the Boomers," 17 Dec. 2019 Ator's home on the outskirts of Odessa was a corrugated metal shack along a dirt road surrounded by trailers, mobile homes and oil pump jacks. Anchorage Daily News, "Texas shooter got gun at private sale after being denied in 2014 background check," 4 Sep. 2019 Ator's home on the outskirts of Odessa was a corrugated metal shack along a dirt road surrounded by trailers, mobile homes and oil pump jacks. Paul J. Weber, chicagotribune.com, "Gunman in Texas shooting rampage that killed 7 obtained AR-style rifle in private sale, evading background check that blocked him in 2014," 3 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jack.' 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 jack


1548, in the meaning defined at sense 5a


circa 1833, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for jack


Middle English Jacke, familiar term of address to a social inferior, nickname for Johan John

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Statistics for jack

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Jack.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jack. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for jack


How to pronounce jack (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of jack

: a device used for lifting something heavy (such as a car)
: a playing card that has a picture of a soldier or servant and that is worth more than a ten and less than a queen
: a small opening where something connects with a wire to something else


\ ˈjak How to pronounce jack (audio) \

Kids Definition of jack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a device for lifting something heavy a short distance
2 : a playing card with the picture of a young man
3 : a small six-pointed usually metal object used in a children's game ( jacks )
4 : a socket used with a plug to connect one electric circuit with another


jacked; jacking

Kids Definition of jack (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move or lift with a special device We need to jack up the car.

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More from Merriam-Webster on jack

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jack

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jack

Spanish Central: Translation of jack

Nglish: Translation of jack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jack for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jack

Comments on jack

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


good-natured easy friendliness

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