jump

verb
\ ˈjəmp How to pronounce jump (audio) \
jumped; jumping; jumps

Definition of jump

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to spring into the air : leap especially : to spring free from the ground or other base by the muscular action of feet and legs
b : to move suddenly or involuntarily : start
c : to move energetically : hustle
d : to start out or forward : begin usually used with off jump off to a big lead
e : to move over a position occupied by an opponent's piece in a board game often thereby capturing the piece
f : to undergo a vertical or lateral displacement owing to improper alignment of the film on a projector mechanism
g : to go from one sequence of instructions in a computer program to another
2a : to move haphazardly or irregularly : shift abruptly jumped from job to job
b : to undergo a sudden sharp change in value prices jumped
c : to make a hurried judgment jump to conclusions
d : to show eagerness jumped at the chance
e : to enter eagerly jump on the bandwagon
f : to change or abandon employment especially in violation of contract
g : to rise suddenly in rank or status
h : to make a jump in bridge
3 : to make a sudden physical or verbal attack jumped on him for his criticism
4 : to bustle with activity the restaurant was jumping

transitive verb

1a : to leap over jump a hurdle
b : to leap aboard jump a freight
c : to act, move, or begin before (something, such as a signal) jump the green light
d : to move over (a piece) in a board game
2a : to escape from : avoid
b : to leave hastily or in violation of contract jump town without paying their bills— Hamilton Basso
c : to depart from (a normal course) jump the track
3a : to make a sudden physical or verbal attack on
b : to occupy illegally jump a mining claim
4a(1) : to cause to leap
(2) : to cause (game) to break cover : start, flush
b : to increase suddenly and sharply
c : to elevate in rank or status
d : to raise (a bridge partner's bid) by more than one rank
5 obsolete : risk, hazard
jump bail
: to abscond after being released from prison on bail
jump ship
1 : to leave the company of a ship without authority
2 : to desert a cause or party especially abruptly
jump the gun
1 : to start in a race before the starting signal
2 : to act, move, or begin something before the proper time
jump the queue
British : to advance directly to or as if to the head of a line
jump the shark
: to undergo a significant change for the worse that marks the point at which a period of success ends (as for a TV series)

jump

noun

Definition of jump (Entry 2 of 3)

1a(1) : an act of jumping : leap
(2) : any of several sports competitions featuring a leap, spring, or bound
(3) : a leap in figure skating in which the skater leaves the ice with both feet and turns in the air
(4) : a space cleared or covered by a leap
(5) : an obstacle to be jumped over or from
b : a sudden involuntary movement : start
c : a move made in a board game by jumping
d : a transfer from one sequence of instructions in a computer program to a different sequence
2 : an advantage at the start getting the jump on the competition
3a(1) : a sharp sudden increase
(2) : a bid in bridge of more tricks than are necessary to overcall the preceding bid — compare shift
b : an abrupt change or transition
c(1) : a quick short journey
(2) : one in a series of moves from one place to another
d : the portion of a published item (such as a newspaper article or story) that comprises the continuation of an item that begins on a preceding page
4 : jazz music with a fast tempo
5 obsolete : venture

jump

adverb

Definition of jump (Entry 3 of 3)

obsolete

Synonyms for jump

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Where did jump the shark come from?

When something jumps the shark it undergoes a significant change for the worse and is on a new trajectory of unrecoverable decline. The happy days of its golden age are over.

The origin of the phrase jump the shark is tucked neatly in that previous sentence: it comes from a 1977 episode of the American TV series “Happy Days” (1974–1984) in which the program's most popular character, Fonzie, jumps over a shark while waterskiing in his trademark leather jacket. Some years later that episode came to be widely identified as marking the beginning of the iconic show's decline, and its plot device became a metaphor for similar transformations:

Nearly all TV shows ever produced have jumped the shark eventually. Such is the nature of television's creative conundrum.
— Monica Collins, Boston Herald, 9 Jan. 2000

Most TV series take three seasons to jump the shark, but in the theater it can happen in 20 minutes …
— Bob Verini, Daily Variety, 18 Sept. 2009

But in its headlong embrace of capitalism and corporate tie-ins, “Sex and the City” may have finally jumped the shark.
— Laura Compton, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 May 2010

The phrase is no longer limited to contexts involving entertainment; anything that undergoes a significant change for the worse that marks the start of a period of decline can be said to have "jumped the shark":

Not everyone agrees when Picasso's art jumped the shark.
— Jeffry Cudlin, Washington Post, 27 Feb. 2011

Silicon Valley has “jumped the shark” and lacks innovation, venture capitalist Peter Thiel says.
— Mike Murphy, MarketWatch, 1 Nov. 2018

Examples of jump in a Sentence

Verb The circus lion jumped through the hoop. The fans were jumping up and down with excitement. Everyone was jumping for joy when we found out that we had won an award. The cat jumped down off the table. The runner jumped a hurdle. The car jumped the curb. Everyone jumped into the pool. He jumped into his truck and drove away. She jumped when she heard a loud knock late at night. She jumped to an early lead in the race. Noun The horse took the first jump easily but balked at the second. took a small jump forward to avoid stepping in the puddle See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Each time Shura was about to jump, Alyona would take a step back, protecting her own neat ensemble. Sana Krasikov, The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2022 Bostic was not able to find a way out on the main floor as the flames intensified, police said, and the two would be forced to jump out of a second-floor window to safety. Claudia Dominguez, CNN, 18 July 2022 Some people like to jump out of airplanes as parachutists. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 10 July 2022 Again, the credit should go mainly to Cruise, who, for the sake of our entertainment, will happily climb the world’s tallest building, hold his breath for six and a half minutes, or jump out of an airplane with the cameraman. New York Times, 4 July 2022 Those two had been successful with a two-man game from behind goal all season, and Virginia tried to move them out front Sunday to jump-start the offense. Mike Preston, Baltimore Sun, 22 May 2022 Without widespread vaccination, North Korea is unlikely to be able to jump-start an economy that largely depends on cross-border trade with China. Dasl Yoon, WSJ, 12 May 2022 As the vehicle moved to the side of the road, the teen appears to move from the driver's seat to the passenger seat and is seeing trying to jump out of the car. Fox News, 30 Apr. 2022 After fans booed and Dillon appeared to offer an explanation, the officer backed off and allowed Dillon to jump into the stands. Fox News, 25 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At the NFL Combine, Strong recorded the sixth best vertical jump (36 inches) and third best broad jump (124 inches) among running backs. Jayna Bardahl, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Aug. 2022 The phenomenon of a meme stock trade describes a trend in which retail investors see shares rise steeply as others back a firm, then more jump into the fray, pushing the stock price further upward and enticing another wave of investors. Max Zahn, ABC News, 7 Aug. 2022 In retrospect, these fears have diminished in part due to proactive measures and to the inherent complexities of the human genome (cloning an entire human being is, after all, a large jump from cloning a sheep). Bill Frist, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022 Sales leapt 86% between 2019 and 2020, and another 57% jump, to $4.61 billion, last year. Anne D'innocenzio, USA TODAY, 26 July 2022 Thiam’s jump, a height of 6 feet, 4¾ inches, added 1,171 points for a total of 2,264. oregonlive, 17 July 2022 And with roughly 61% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck as of April 2022, a more than nine percentage point jump compared to a year ago, that’s a problem. Will Daniel, Fortune, 2 July 2022 That’s a 20% jump from a week ago, and one of the highest rates since cases hit a post-winter low in March. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2022 The jump in borrowing costs, adding hundreds of dollars a month to the typical mortgage payment and coming on top of two years of home price increases, has pushed wishful home buyers past their financial limits. New York Times, 29 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jump.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of jump

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

circa 1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Adverb

1539, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jump

Verb

probably akin to Low German gumpen to jump

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Dictionary Entries Near jump

Jumnapari

jump

jumpable

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Statistics for jump

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Jump.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jump. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for jump

jump

verb
\ ˈjəmp How to pronounce jump (audio) \
jumped; jumping

Kids Definition of jump

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to spring into the air : leap
2 : to pass over or cause to pass over with or as if with a leap Our dog tried to jump the fence.
3 : to make a sudden movement The sudden noise made me jump.
4 : to make a sudden attack "Are you trying to make hash out of little Willie with all five of you jumping on him at once?"— Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking
5 : to have or cause a sudden sharp increase Food prices have jumped.
6 : to make a hasty judgment Don't jump to conclusions.
jump the gun
1 : to start in a race before the starting signal
2 : to do something before the proper time

jump

noun

Kids Definition of jump (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of leaping He made a running jump.
2 : a sudden involuntary movement : start He gave a jump when she came in.
3 : a sharp sudden increase a jump in temperature
4 : an initial advantage We got the jump on the other team.

More from Merriam-Webster on jump

Nglish: Translation of jump for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jump for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jump

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