\ 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
c(1) : servant, laborer
(2) : lumberjack
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 constructions In 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 up jack 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

bread [slang], bucks, cabbage [slang], cash, change, chips, coin, currency, dough, gold, green, kale [slang], legal tender, lolly [British], long green [slang], loot, lucre, money, moola (or moolah) [slang], needful, pelf, scratch [slang], shekels (also sheqels), tender, wampum

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Examples of jack in a Sentence


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

South ruffed the third diamond, took the king of trumps and finessed with dummy’s jack. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: July 2, 2019," 2 July 2019 To spread the winnings, players will be awarded $5,000 for a 10, $10,000 for a jack, $15,000 for a king, $20,000 for an ace, $25,000 for a queen of clubs spades or diamonds, and $30,000 for a joker. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Fortune-seekers buying their tickets as McHenry Queen of Hearts raffle resumes with new rules and $1.7 million prize," 15 June 2019 The other bit of good news, much like national ice cream flavor day, or national pizza day, is that there are so many flavors to choose from, including: cheddar, mozzarella, American, pepper jack, provolone, goat, Swiss and many, many more. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "Celebrate National Cheese Day in Houston with these delicious dishes," 4 June 2019 When the hearts break 3-3, South can draw the missing trump with dummy’s king and pitch his jack of clubs on the 13th heart. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: June 26, 2019," 26 June 2019 The two men stole a screwdriver set; a wrench and socket set; two metal dollies; three body hammers; four sets of pliers; a jack; and a tool bag during the June 4 incident, according to police reports. Evan Macdonald, cleveland.com, "Duo attacked friends looking for work in Cleveland, stole $2,300 in tools from SUV, records say," 18 June 2019 Goodrum’s bat makes him a decent asset for the Tigers, but his versatility is what really sets him apart, and there’s increasing evidence that major league teams are putting more value on his type of jack-of-all-trades skill set. Noah Trister, The Seattle Times, "Big league teams appreciate the value of versatility," 29 Mar. 2019 Following his retirement, Bentley has become a jack of all trades, plying his hand at everything from flooring to cocktail making. SI.com, "Pascal Chimbonda & 24 Other Classic Premier League Players You'd Forgotten: No. 12 - David Bentley," 24 May 2018 Long story short, saying the C-130 is a jack of all trades is selling it short. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, "Why the C-130 Is Such a Badass Plane," 21 Apr. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

All the tech like Bluetooth and backup cameras helps jack up the cost. Erik Sherman, Fortune, "Your American Car Is Probably Not as American as You Think," 26 June 2019 To that, there is also the death of the city to consider — the old, shabby, affordable New York being divvied and jacked up by rapacious owners, with Patti LuPone guest-starring as a racist, transphobic slumlord, in the key of Leona Helmsley. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "‘Pose’ returns, upgrading its ‘realness’ without sacrificing its glimmer or grit," 11 June 2019 This would blunt the ability of hospitals to arbitrarily jack up list charges and negotiate contract prices with insurers based on relative market power. J.b. Silvers, The Conversation, "Health care price transparency: Fool’s gold, or real money in your pocket?," 24 June 2019 Tens pay $5,000 each, jacks $10,000, kings $15,000 and aces $20,000. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Queen of Hearts raffle returns to McHenry VFW with a $1.7 million top prize on the line, but payout Tuesday is only $5,000," 18 June 2019 Tariffs create uncertainty in the building industry Just the threat of more tariffs has created a new level of uncertainty and concern that builders will be forced to jack up prices even higher. Randy Tucker, Cincinnati.com, "Trump tariffs hit local homebuilders and buyers hard," 9 June 2019 Yet the PERS Board could just as easily go in the opposite direction, jacking up its assumed earnings rate and giving employers and lawmakers further budget relief. oregonlive.com, "Will PERS Board follow lawmakers’ lead on pension reform, or buck them?," 5 June 2019 Should Fekir have a strong tournament, more clubs could come in for the man set to replace Philippe Coutinho, and Lyon could easily jack up his price tag. SI.com, "Liverpool Desperate to Tie Down Wantaway Midfielder Nabil Fekir Before the World Cup Starts," 29 May 2018 Both are in total beast mode, jacked up and hulked out, ready to pop off at a moment’s notice. Katie Walsh, Detroit Free Press, "Review: Details bog down ‘Den of Thieves’," 18 Jan. 2018

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

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jack

The first known use of jack was in 1548

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More Definitions for jack



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jack

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


to complain fretfully

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