jolt

noun
\ˈjōlt \

Definition of jolt 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an abrupt, sharp, jerky blow or movement awoke with a jolt

2a(1) : a sudden feeling of shock, surprise, or disappointment the news gave them a jolt

(2) : an event or development causing such a feeling the defeat was quite a jolt

b : a serious setback or reverse a severe financial jolt

3 : a small but potent or bracing portion of something a jolt of horseradish

jolt

verb
jolted; jolting; jolts

Definition of jolt (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to disturb the composure of : shock crudely jolted out of that mood— Virginia Woolf an announcement that jolted the community

b : to interfere with roughly, abruptly, and disconcertingly determination to pursue his own course was jolted badly— F. L. Paxson

2 : to cause to move with a sudden jerky motion passengers being jolted along a bumpy road

3 : to give a knock or blow to specifically : to jar with a quick or hard blow

intransitive verb

: to move with a sudden jerky motion

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Other Words from jolt

Noun

jolty \ ˈjōl-​tē \ adjective

Verb

jolter noun

Examples of jolt in a Sentence

Noun

I sprang out of bed with a jolt. The car stopped with a jolt. I got quite a jolt when I heard the door slam. The defeat was quite a jolt to the team. The stock market suffered a major jolt yesterday. She needed a jolt of caffeine to start her day. The unexpected praise he received gave him a jolt of confidence.

Verb

The explosion jolted the ship. He was jolted forward when the bus stopped suddenly. The loud bang jolted me awake. The attack jolted the country into action. She jolted the medical world with her announcement.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The warning delivered a jolt of reality, underscoring that despite weeks of positive steps by North Korea and Trump's gusher of praise for Kim, the process of negotiating with the inscrutable state remains as treacherous as ever. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump's Korea hopes thrown into turmoil," 16 May 2018 Kiss or lick in or around it to give him a serious jolt of pleasure. Redbook, "33 Sexy Places to Touch Your Guy," 30 Oct. 2017 Which all came as something of a jolt to Lynch aficionados—and not just because the idea of Trump sitting through even ten minutes of Inland Empire is so wildly absurd. Thomas Harlander, Los Angeles Magazine, "Maybe We Should Take David Lynch’s Thoughts on Trump with a Grain of Salt," 27 June 2018 Who Trump pardons has oftentimes come as a jolt to his own staff, and on some occasions, the person being pardoned. Kaitlan Collins, CNN, "Exclusive: Trump considers dozens of new pardons," 6 June 2018 Brown in his January budget proposal did not count on cannabis delivering that kind of jolt to state coffers. Adam Ashton, sacbee, "California's marijuana tax collections lag below expectations | The Sacramento Bee," 9 May 2018 The Ravens needed a jolt to their system, and general manager Ozzie Newsome willingly fired up the paddles. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Five Things We Learned from the Ravens' 2018 NFL draft," 30 Apr. 2018 The Star's report on Friday that former state lawmaker, Missouri secretary of state and U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander is seriously considering the mayor's race sent a jolt through the field of candidates. Bill Turque, kansascity, "KC Councilman Quinton Lucas enters 2019 mayoral race," 23 June 2018 Such a significant wave of messages might have sent a jolt of anxiety through the hearts of many. Dugan Arnett, BostonGlobe.com, "(Ping!) You have (Ping!) a new (Ping!) group (Ping! Ping! Ping!) text," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The death of 66-year-old Kevin Manning jolted the city, provoking immediate calls for action. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Bicyclists protest as city plans for safer lanes hit bumps," 13 July 2018 The amalgamated Frankenstein jolted awake to get all murderous. Matt Simon, WIRED, "We Need to Talk About Robots Trying to Pass as Humans," 7 June 2018 Sputtering lava, strong earthquakes and toxic gas jolted the southern part of the Big Island of Hawaii as magma shifted underneath a restless, erupting Kilauea volcano. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Hawaii volcano: As lava continues to flow, evacuees anxious about homes, pets," 6 May 2018 Think earthquakes — one after another after another, jolting the landscape of international relations and leaving behind ever-greater chaos. Heather Hurlburt, Daily Intelligencer, "There Is No Cleaning Up the Foreign Policy Mess Trump Is Making," 11 July 2018 In late 2017, Ted Birdseye was jolted awake by the sound of dogs barking. Kale Williams, OregonLive.com, "As Oregon wolves rebound, tensions rise over livestock attacks," 10 June 2018 And maybe there’s a commercial or political come-on meant to jolt us into greed or outrage—or someone trolling on social media. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "The Truth-Affirming Powers of a Good, Old-Fashioned Netflix Binge," 23 May 2018 The frenzied bidding war is also an illustration of how a merger announcement, even in a sleepy industry, can jolt other companies into action and kick off a wave of consolidation. Austen Hufford, WSJ, "California Water Takes SJW Offer Public," 26 Apr. 2018 And though traces of old Victor crop up, she's always jolted back to reality. Meghan Daum, Redbook, "Caregivers: Celebrating the Invisible War Heroes," 12 Nov. 2012

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

Noun

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1596, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for jolt

Noun

see jolt entry 2

Verb

probably blend of obsolete joll to strike and jot to bump

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Learn More about jolt

Statistics for jolt

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jolt

The first known use of jolt was in 1596

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More Definitions for jolt

jolt

verb

English Language Learners Definition of jolt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cause (something or someone) to move in a quick and sudden way

: to move with a quick and sudden motion

: to surprise or shock (someone)

jolt

noun

English Language Learners Definition of jolt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sudden, rough movement

: a sudden shock or surprise

: a small but powerful amount of something

jolt

verb
\ˈjōlt \
jolted; jolting

Kids Definition of jolt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move or cause to move with a sudden jerky motion The train jolted to a stop.

2 : to cause to be upset The bad news jolted us.

jolt

noun

Kids Definition of jolt (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an abrupt jerky and usually powerful blow or movement

2 : a sudden shock or surprise Lincoln Elementary needed a good jolt once in a while …— Andrew Clements, Frindle

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Comments on jolt

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