jack·​ham·​mer | \ ˈjak-ˌha-mər How to pronounce jackhammer (audio) \

Definition of jackhammer

1 : a pneumatically operated percussive rock-drilling tool usually held in the hands
2 : a device in which a tool (such as a chisel for breaking up pavements) is driven percussively by compressed air

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Other Words from jackhammer

jackhammer verb

Examples of jackhammer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There, two men wielded a jackhammer in the middle of the jungle, tumbling a small landslide of boulders into the valley below. Chris Jones, WSJ, "A Rare Look at One of the World’s Most Isolated Mountain Treks," 4 Feb. 2020 New buildings are sprouting up all over, the infrastructure is in constant repair, and the streets are always being dug up with jackhammers. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, "Richard McGuire’s “Noise New York”," 28 Oct. 2019 Their tight seal is secure enough to dull the cacophonies of a jackhammer on the street or a chainsaw in the backyard. John Kennedy, Popular Science, "Excellent earplugs for everyday situations," 3 Jan. 2020 Survival knives break down into two categories: big, heavy knives, with blades that run 8 or 9 inches, and standard-sized knives with blades that measure 6 inches or a bit more and weigh less than a jackhammer. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "The Six Best Survival Knives Ever Made," 1 Jan. 2020 McKay’s light touch over such a heavy topic makes The Big Short the cinematic equivalent of a velvet jackhammer. Jason Herbert, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Were the Best History Movies of the Decade?," 31 Dec. 2019 To have a chance at beating the Saints, particularly amid the unforgiving din of the Superdome, Shanahan coached the game with the relentlessness of a jackhammer. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "The N.F.C.’s Best Team? San Francisco Makes a High-Scoring Case," 8 Dec. 2019 Some used jackhammers and saws to cut through the concrete and rebar, but others used hand tools like hammers and chisels. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "'We will do whatever we can': Inside the search for the man buried in building collapse," 27 Nov. 2019 But replacing the floor would be a huge undertaking, requiring jackhammers to dislodge the concrete tiles, some of them 10 inches thick. New York Times, "Follow Every Step of a Major Midcentury Modern Renovation," 20 Dec. 2019

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

1912, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for jackhammer

Time Traveler

The first known use of jackhammer was in 1912

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Cite this Entry

“Jackhammer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jackhammer. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for jackhammer


How to pronounce jackhammer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of jackhammer

chiefly US : a heavy tool used to break hard substances (such as concrete) into pieces by a repeated pounding action

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More from Merriam-Webster on jackhammer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jackhammer

Spanish Central: Translation of jackhammer

Nglish: Translation of jackhammer for Spanish Speakers

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