\ 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 Meanwhile, nearly a dozen companies sell smart glasses, most of which are aimed at healthcare, exercise enthusiasts, music aficionados and owners of smartphones with no headphone jacks. Jennifer Alsever, Fortune, "With 5G, wearable devices are expected to become even more sci-fi," 24 Mar. 2020 Division 2 Mike DeBolt, Mansfield — The senior has established himself as a jack of all trades and proved that again on Saturday. BostonGlobe.com, "Tom Gasbarro/Jack Nally, Franklin," 28 Oct. 2019 The bad: The phone doesn’t have expandable memory or a headphone jack. courant.com, "CNET: The best phones for less than $500," 25 Oct. 2019 The 17 instead offers four Thunderbolt 3 ports, plus the SD card reader and headphone jack. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Newly redesigned Dell XPS 15 inspired by popular XPS 13," 13 May 2020 Their wish list provided half that much for testing and jack-squat-zero dollars for contact tracing. Kyle Whitmire, al, "And now we play American Roulette," 13 May 2020 With demand for oil down, thousands of pump jacks are at a virtual standstill. Los Angeles Times, "Boiling Point: Why climate change matters more than ever during the coronavirus pandemic," 7 May 2020 Perhaps the must puzzling memorial is in Moscow: the steel beams resembling giant children’s jacks in the middle of the highway leading from Sheremetyevo Airport. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Memorials weave WWII into Russia’s psyche," 7 May 2020 Like the subjects of all great shop projects, the two giant passenger planes are sitting on jacks. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Next-Gen Air Force One Is Already Over Budget," 30 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Kaleo, a company Edwards founded with his twin brother, jacked up the price of its Evzio opioid overdose antidote by more than 600% between 2014 and 2017, which cost U.S. taxpayers more than $142 million. Ed Silverman, STAT, "CEO tapped by Trump to make generic drugs during pandemic has a dicey track record," 19 May 2020 Hydraulic jacks come in two basic types—bottle jacks and floor jacks. Field & Stream, "Three Questions To Ask Before Buying A Hydraulic Jack," 12 May 2020 Now the waterproof bag has become my tech sack, containing a Mophie Powerstation Mini power bank with its charging cord, a Charge Defense USB juice jacking defender, and an old cell phone. Rachel Chang, Condé Nast Traveler, "An Overprepared Traveler Shares Her Packing Checklist," 4 Mar. 2020 It was learned that one of the students had stolen the vehicle in a violent car-jacking case in the City of Houston 2 days earlier. Houston Chronicle, "Memorial Villages Police Department weekly report," 13 Jan. 2020 The committee has accused Veritas of harassing longtime tenants in an effort to boot them from their apartments in order to jack up rents. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "Veritas accuses tenant advocacy group of ‘flagrant’ confidentiality breach," 27 Jan. 2020 As focus on the drug’s promise emerge, sellers have jacked up prices on a form of chloroquine that is sold to be used in aquariums to kill organisms, according to an analysis from social-media intelligence firm Storyful. Daniela Hernandez, WSJ, "Doctors Turn to Malaria Drugs as Potential Coronavirus Treatment," 20 Mar. 2020 In those cities, landlords jacked up rents when their federal tax credits expired. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "Duggan speech stresses equity for Detroiters on housing, marijuana licenses, jobs," 26 Feb. 2020 But just as frustrating was jacking one up with 20 seconds on the shot clock, missing badly and coming nowhere close to getting a rebound. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "AL.com All-Access: In which I attempt to discuss basketball," 13 Feb. 2020

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

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Jack.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jack. Accessed 4 Jun. 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

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