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 It’s also credited with helping to jump-start the nightlife scene on O’Donnell Square, now known for its bars and restaurants. Amanda Yeager, Baltimore Sun, 23 Sep. 2022 With starting quarterback Tyler Buchner out because of a shoulder injury, Notre Dame now needs Drew Pyne to jump-start its sputtering offense when unbeaten California visits Saturday. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 17 Sep. 2022 Guidara’s plan to jump-start a new restaurant group of his own. Howie Kahn, WSJ, 8 Sep. 2022 From multi-purpose gear — like a carry-on suitcase that doubles as a mobile office or a portable charger that can jump-start a car — to smart upgrades for your sunglasses and reusable water bottle, check out top picks for the travel-work lifestyle. Thomas Hindle, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Sep. 2022 Also last week, Delta pilots conducted informational picketing at 13 airports around the country, including Orlando’s, to jump-start talks that the union says have been stalled since 2019. David Lyons, Sun Sentinel, 3 Sep. 2022 This body cream helps jump-start the skin's natural repairing process and also features a combo of amino acids and vitamins to firm skin, fight sun damage, and even fade stretch marks. Jamie Wilson, Harper's BAZAAR, 1 Sep. 2022 Generations of kids grew up playing these video games and helped to jump-start the digital revolution. Bijan Stephen, The New Yorker, 1 Sep. 2022 The shutdown initially caused fuel prices to jump in the Chicago area, but the prices have leveled off this week. Chicago Tribune, 2 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Kipchoge ran 30 seconds faster — a massive jump for a world marathon record — than his previous best effort in 2018, also set in Berlin, according to NPR and the Associated Press. Tommy Mcardle, Peoplemag, 26 Sep. 2022 Can a turkey jump higher than the Empire State Building? Martha Sorren, Woman's Day, 23 Sep. 2022 And one of them has made a surprising jump in the desktop, laptop and tablet market: Amazon. Rob Pegoraro, PCMAG, 20 Sep. 2022 Another time jump after episode 5 will take us to episode 6, where Rhaenyra has given birth to a son with husband Laenor Velaryon, now played as an adult by actor John Macmillan following Theo Nate's turn in the role. Nick Romano, EW.com, 20 Sep. 2022 The National Energy Assistance Directors Association has forecast the highest winter heating season in a decade—a 35% jump to an average of $1,202 from two seasons ago—and a likely shock to consumers. Jennifer Hiller, WSJ, 18 Sep. 2022 That’s quite a jump, which will require taking several business lines—data services at the Moon, orbital services, and space products and infrastructure—that earn about $8 million today and growing them to earn $480 million in 2024. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, 16 Sep. 2022 The jump in people who identify as multiracial—from 3.4% in 2019 to 12.6% in 2021—and a decline in people identifying as white alone—from 72% to 61.2%—coincided with Census Bureau changes in coding race and Hispanic origin responses. Time, 15 Sep. 2022 The jump in people who identify as multiracial — from 3.4% in 2019 to 12.6% in 2021 — and a decline in people identifying as white alone — from 72% to 61.2% — coincided with Census Bureau changes in coding race and Hispanic origin responses. Mike Schneider, BostonGlobe.com, 15 Sep. 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

28 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Jump.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jump. Accessed 4 Oct. 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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