jerk

noun
\ ˈjərk How to pronounce jerk (audio) \

Definition of jerk

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : an annoyingly stupid or foolish person was acting like a jerk
b : an unlikable person especially : one who is cruel, rude, or small-minded a selfish jerk
2 : a single quick motion of short duration a sudden jerk gave the handle a jerk
3a : jolting, bouncing, or thrusting motions
b : a tendency to produce spasmodic motions
4a : an involuntary spasmodic muscular movement due to reflex action
b jerks plural : involuntary twitchings due to nervous excitement
5 : the pushing of a weight from shoulder height to a position overhead : the second phase of the clean and jerk in weight lifting

jerk

verb (1)
jerked; jerking; jerks

Definition of jerk (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to give a quick suddenly arrested push, pull, or twist to jerk a rope
2 : to propel or move with or as if with a quick suddenly arrested motion jerked the door open
3 : to mix and serve (drinks, such as sodas) behind a soda fountain

intransitive verb

1 : to make a sudden spasmodic motion Her hand jerked up suddenly.
2 : to move in short abrupt motions or with frequent jolts

jerk

verb (2)
jerked; jerking; jerks

Definition of jerk (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to preserve (meat) in long sun-dried slices

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Other Words from jerk

Verb (1)

jerker noun

Synonyms for jerk

Synonyms: Noun

bastard, beast, bleeder [British], blighter [chiefly British], boor, bounder, bugger, buzzard, cad, chuff, churl, clown, creep, cretin, crud [slang], crumb [slang], cur, dirtbag [slang], dog, fink, heel, hound, joker, louse, lout, pill, rat, rat fink, reptile, rotter, schmuck [slang], scum, scumbag [slang], scuzzball [slang], skunk, sleaze, sleazebag [slang], sleazeball [slang], slime, slimeball [slang], slob, snake, so-and-so, sod [chiefly British], stinkard, stinker, swine, toad, varmint, vermin

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Examples of jerk in a Sentence

Noun

That jerk can't do anything right. Most of the kids are nice, but some are jerks. The dead branch came loose after a few jerks. He felt the jerk of the line as a fish took the bait. The car started with a jerk.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Be sympathetic to someone who is sensitive to some foods and isn’t sure how to say that without being a jerk. Carolyn Hax, The Mercury News, "Carolyn Hax: My son says he won’t come to our ‘circus,’ and I think I know what’s going on," 11 Aug. 2019 Be sympathetic to someone who is sensitive to some foods and isn’t sure how to say that without being a jerk. Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: The truth behind your daughter-in-law’s aversion to events," 11 Aug. 2019 Be sympathetic to someone who is sensitive to some foods and isn’t sure how to say that without being a jerk. Carolyn Hax, oregonlive.com, "Carolyn Hax: Son and daughter-in-law finished with ‘circus-like’ family gatherings," 10 Aug. 2019 Cooks rub them with five-chili, sweet-hot, jerk seasoning. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Here are the 10 best foods at the Indiana State Fair 2019," 7 Aug. 2019 Think: jerk snapper en papillote, suya chicken ballotine and plantains Foster. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "The Exchange pop-up pays tribute to black culture during Detroit Black Restaurant Week," 7 Aug. 2019 They could be turned into chips to make crepe chilaquiles or smothered with jerk sausage and Fontina. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "These are the best restaurants in Tempe," 6 Aug. 2019 Three of the best jerk restaurants on the island are the Scotchies in MoBay, Ocho Rios and Kingston. Mark Rogers, USA TODAY, "Taking a family vacation to Jamaica? 10 reasons to leave your all-inclusive resort," 29 July 2019 Guests will find dishes like lobster mac and cheese, made with Gruyere cheese; and smoked chicken wings rubbed in Jamaican jerk and orange mojo sauce. San Diego Union-Tribune, "The Dish: Aspiring young chefs master the art of pasta making," 25 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Many of the cars shudder and jerk and frighten and irritate owners. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "NHTSA says it's reviewing complaints of faulty Ford transmissions," 24 July 2019 Preserving your home movies, entombed in rapidly-decaying VHS tapes, by converting them into digital files is a thoughtful (and often tear-jerking) way to do that. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "How to make digital copies of your VHS tapes," 21 July 2019 Her hand jerked, and the brush rolled off the ceramic rest. Veronica Chambers, New York Times, "Viewfinders: 10 Y.A. Novelists Spin Fiction From Vintage Photos," 28 June 2019 In the video, Pantaleo can be seen wrapping one arm around Garner's shoulder and the other around his neck before jerking him back and pulling him to the ground. Mark Morales, CNN, "Chants of 'I can't breathe!' erupt as the officer in the Eric Garner case won't face federal charges," 17 July 2019 The 12-minute long clip features a behind-the-scenes look at the iconic Tanner living room and kitchen, the actors and actresses arriving to the studio, and even a few tear-jerking speeches. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Fuller House' Star Candace Cameron Bure Gets Emotional at First Reading Sans Lori Loughlin," 24 May 2019 At the end of Toy Story 3, the departure of Andy was a tear-jerking goodbye, but the arrival of Bonnie suggested the fun could last forever. David Sims, The Atlantic, "A Plaything Made Out of Trash Is the Real Star of Toy Story 4," 13 June 2019 The result might be a plane that appears to suddenly jerk in midair, rise like a dragon, slow to a relative crawl, or perform some other impossible-looking aerial maneuver. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "China's New Upgrade Makes Its Fighter Jets Wildly Maneuverable," 7 Nov. 2018 Each time the strap connected with flesh, the army cot the boys clung to would jerk and heave. Carol Marbin Miller, miamiherald, "A victim of vile abuse at Florida reform school, he spent his life fighting for justice," 10 July 2018

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

Noun

1575, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb (1)

1589, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

1707, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jerk

Noun and Verb (1)

probably alteration of yerk

Verb (2)

back-formation from jerky entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near jerk

jerfalcon

jerican

Jericho

jerk

jerk around

jerkin

jerkingly

Statistics for jerk

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jerk

The first known use of jerk was in 1575

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More Definitions for jerk

jerk

noun

English Language Learners Definition of jerk

informal : a stupid person or a person who is not well-liked or who treats other people badly
: a quick pull or twist
: a sudden sharp movement

jerk

verb
\ ˈjərk How to pronounce jerk (audio) \
jerked; jerking

Kids Definition of jerk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to give a quick sharp pull or twist to She jerked the dog's leash.
2 : to move in a quick motion He jerked his head.

jerk

noun

Kids Definition of jerk (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a short quick pull or jolt … he gave the rope a vicious jerk.— C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
2 : a foolish person

jerk

noun
\ ˈjərk How to pronounce jerk (audio) \

Medical Definition of jerk

: an involuntary spasmodic muscular movement due to reflex action especially : one induced by an external stimulus — see knee jerk

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More from Merriam-Webster on jerk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jerk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jerk

Spanish Central: Translation of jerk

Comments on jerk

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