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 offjump 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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In 2017, its customer numbers trebled to 1.2 million, revenues increased five times to 12.8 million pounds ($16.8 million), and monthly transaction volumes jumped to $1.5 billion from $200 million. Washington Post, "Super-Charged Revolut Might Be Driving Too Fast," 18 Sep. 2019 The horse kept on trotting down the road after the males jumped from the buggy, WKBN reports. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com, "Amish males seen drinking abandon horse-and-buggy after being pulled over by Ohio deputies," 17 Sep. 2019 Last summer, the school system saw a spike in the number of meals served, jumping from nearly 51,000 in 2017 to more than 64,000. Jess Nocera, baltimoresun.com, "Howard schools served nearly 68,000 free lunches during its summer meals program," 17 Sep. 2019 Robert Bell, a director in DOT’s Bureau of Policy and Planning, said the tool still needs some additional information – especially the prediction that jumps from 90-day to 10-year flooding with no intermediate levels. Jan Ellen Spiegel, courant.com, "State website predicts impact of rising sea level along Connecticut shoreline due to climate change," 16 Sep. 2019 The former Veep has a disquieting tendency to wander into rhetorical cul-de-sacs, jumping from topic to topic in stream-of-consciousness spiels. BostonGlobe.com, "We need to talk about Joe Biden.," 15 Sep. 2019 Since April, polls have shown his party jumping from five seats to 10 or 11 this month. NBC News, "Avigdor Lieberman emerges as unlikely kingmaker of Israeli politics," 13 Sep. 2019 The pet products association, which performs its survey every two years and had 22,000 respondents in 2016, used mail surveys until 2010 - and that's when its ownership estimate jumped from 62 percent to 68 percent. Karin Brulliard, chicagotribune.com, "How many Americans have pets? An investigation of fuzzy statistics," 13 Sep. 2019 Earlier, Cincinnati Fire Department reported on Twitter that the person may have jumped from the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge. Chris Mayhew, Cincinnati.com, "NKY/Cincinnati first responders searching: Report of a person in Ohio River Thursday afternoon," 12 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Already recruiters have an additional 13,000 recruits under contract to join the service in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, giving them a jump on next year’s totals. Washington Post, "APNewsBreak: Army revamps recruiting, hits enlistment goal," 18 Sep. 2019 Per Baseball Savant, Benintendi ranks in just the sixth percentile on outs above average and the 27th percentile on outfield jumps. BostonGlobe.com, "Andrew Benintendi never turned the corner this season.," 17 Sep. 2019 While The Walking Dead jumped ahead twice during season 9, the show also went back in time on occasion to both fill in the blanks on what happened during that second time-jump and also offer an origin story for the new villain in Alpha. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "The Walking Dead showrunner says more flashbacks are coming," 17 Sep. 2019 Secondly, Monday’s action in the oil markets indicated that a full-scale military blowup in the Middle East could cause a much bigger price jump. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Awful Middle East Policies Are Coming Back to Haunt Him," 17 Sep. 2019 The researchers hope to bring their jump glider (or future evolutions of the prototype) into rough environments, such as natural disaster zones, to do sampling and monitoring. Scientific American, "Drenchable Drones, Prickly Cells and Face-Tracked Chimps: Science GIFs to Start Your Week," 16 Sep. 2019 Last year's big jump came on news of Trump threatening to toughen sanctions on Iran. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Oil spikes nearly 15% on Saudi attack, heightened tensions with Iran," 16 Sep. 2019 The recent jump concerns some health-care experts, who fear efforts to chip away at the Affordable Care Act have left people without coverage. Stephanie Innes, azcentral, "U.S. census: Number of Arizonans without health insurance is rising," 16 Sep. 2019 Brent crude traded at $70.98 per barrel on oil futures markets Sunday evening, an 18 percent surge from Friday's close of $60.15, before falling back to a 12 percent jump. Anchorage Daily News, "Crude prices jump after strikes halve Saudi output; Trump says U.S. to tap strategic reserves," 15 Sep. 2019

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.

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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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More Definitions for jump

jump

verb
How to pronounce jump (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of jump

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move your body upward from the ground and often forward, backward, or sideways through the air by pushing with your legs
: to cause your body to drop or fall down from something by pushing with your legs
: to move forward through the air and over (something)

jump

noun

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

: an act of jumping
: a sudden movement because of surprise or shock
: something to be jumped over

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on jump

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jump

Spanish Central: Translation of jump

Nglish: Translation of jump for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jump for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jump

Comments on jump

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