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 president’s message was obviously intended jolt the other 28 NATO members and put them on-notice that the White House will not back down from demands to pay more for the military alliance. W.j. Hennigan, Time, "President Trump Says NATO Allies Owe the U.S. Money. He's Wrong," 11 July 2018 Headline inflation may be getting a temporary jolt from higher fuel costs. Fortune, "U.S. Inflation Posted Its Highest Annual Growth Rate in 6 Years," 29 June 2018 The spicy version gets a bracing jolt of jalapeño juice. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "52 Weeks of BBQ: Texas Pride Barbecue," 29 June 2018 Two months after Newton’s sentencing, the Thorpe/Scott affair got a fresh jolt of adrenaline. Jason Bailey, New York Times, "‘Sex, Cash and Death’: The Story Behind ‘A Very English Scandal’," 28 June 2018 Then again, there are moments Woods gets a jolt of reality about time’s continuous march. Steve Dimeglio, USA TODAY, "Older Tiger Woods smiles more, laughs more on Tour despite putting woes," 27 June 2018 Friday morning, the Russia investigation got a new jolt when a federal judge ordered Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort jailed on allegations of witness tampering. David Lauter, latimes.com, "Back from Singapore, Trump eagerly plunges into the fray, bashing Comey and the Russia investigation," 15 June 2018 For most of us, a cup of coffee or tea is simply about getting a quick jolt of caffeine to start a busy day or serve as a midafternoon pick-me-up. Sarah Fritsche, San Francisco Chronicle, "Where to find unforgettable tea and coffee service in the Bay Area," 25 May 2018 When Brooklyn Nine-Nine super couple Jake Perralta (Andy Samberg) and Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) finally walked down the aisle in Sunday night’s finale, fans of the show’s co-creator, Michael Schur, may have gotten a jolt of déjà vu. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "What Michael Schur Gets Right About Love That Everyone Else Gets Wrong," 20 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., jolted the political landscape. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "California the exception as nation’s gun laws loosen after ’93 SF rampage," 1 July 2018 In Damascus, residents jolted awake by explosions at 4 a.m. expressed relief that the attack was short-lived. Author: Louisa Loveluck, Liz Sly, Anchorage Daily News, "Assad is defiant as US-led strikes in Syria show no sign of threatening his hold on power," 15 Apr. 2018 Trump officials say the president has needed to use harsh language to jolt NATO out of complacency and scare allies into devoting more money toward defense. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, "Trump wants all of NATO spending 2 percent on defense. But is it so simple?," 10 July 2018 A few weeks ago, without explanation, another change at the facility jolted Claudia: Heyli’s female caregiver, Miriam, was replaced by a man named Jose. Jay Root And Shannon Najmabadi, star-telegram, "'A very cruel punishment': Family split by 'zero tolerance' won't try to cross again," 10 July 2018 Image The explosion, which happened at midday on a Sunday, jolted the city and created a situation that only intensified after false reports spread that the police were closing and clearing out Central Park. New York Times, "A Photo of a Bag, and a Fresh Push for Clues in Central Park Blast," 4 July 2018 An eruption at Kilauea summit jolted the area Wednesday with the force of a 5.4 magnitude earthquake and hurled an ash plume that reached 10,000 feet above sea level. Faith Karimi, CNN, "Hawaii volcano's bubbling lava is enough to cover Manhattan," 8 June 2018 The ninth-ranked offense was explosive in stretches, but speedy rookie Ronald Jones should jolt a running attack that had just five gains of 20 yards or more. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "NFL worst-to-first candidates: Which teams could make big leaps in 2018?," 16 May 2018 There is footage of terrorist atrocities that feels both jolting and yet also somehow safely remote: These are just things on a screen, not things happening before our eyes. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Cannes Review: Jean-Luc Godard's The Image Book Confounds and Dazzles," 14 May 2018

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

10 Sep 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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