jack

1 of 2

noun

plural jacks
1
a
jacks plural in form but singular in construction : a game played with a set of small objects that are tossed, caught, and moved in various figures
b
: a small 6-pointed metal object used in the game of jacks
2
a
: a playing card carrying the figure of a soldier or servant and ranking usually below the queen
3
: any of various usually mechanical devices: such as
a
: a usually portable mechanism or device for exerting pressure or lifting a heavy body a short distance
b
: a device for turning a spit
4
: a female fitting in an electric circuit used with a plug to make a connection with another circuit
5
a
: man
usually used as an intensive in such phrases as every man jack
b
often capitalized : sailor
c(1)
(2)
6
: something that supports or holds in position: such as
a
: an iron bar at a topgallant masthead to support a royal mast and spread the royal shrouds
b
: a wooden brace fastened behind a scenic unit in a stage set to prop it up
7
a
: any of several fishes
especially : any of various carangids
b
: a male donkey
d
: any of several birds (such as a jackdaw)
8
a
: a small white target ball in lawn bowling
b
: a small national flag flown by a ship
9
slang : money
10
a
b
: brandy
11
12
13
US slang : anything at all
used in negative constructions
In short, Dinger or Homer or whoever it was who wrote the Odyssey didn't know jack about travel. Steve Rushin

jack

2 of 2

verb

jacked; jacking; jacks

transitive verb

1
: to move or lift (something) by or as if by a jack (see jack entry 1 sense 3a) : jack up
It meant that we had to jack the aircraft and check out the undercarriage system … John Revell
Over 500 tons of pressure was used to jack the legs of the [Gateway] Arch apart for the last four-foot piece to be inserted at the top. nps.gov
2
a
: to raise the level or amount of (something) : increase, jack up
The company jacked their rates.
b
: to increase in intensity, scope, etc. : jack up
In the same light, any student has heard of someone taking self-prescribed Adderall to jack their focus for the next big exam. Zeno Yeates
3
a
informal : steal
"She jacked my pencil" one boy screamed. "But only because he jacked my pen" the girl yelled back. Jason Kane
especially : to steal (a car)
A man is accused of stealing from a Bradenton hardware store and then jacking a nearby car … Giuseppe Sabella
b
informal : rob
jack a store
Droopy was always promising to rob old ladies, but so far had jacked only a pizza delivery man … Gini Sikes
4
informal : to cause great excitement, enthusiasm, or energy in : jack up
Even Phil Mickelson, the Masters champion of a year ago and a three-time winner in 2005, can't jack the audience like Woods. Gerry Dulac
5
: to hunt or fish for (an animal) at night with a jacklight or similar bright light
… if old-fashioned country stores were anything like ours is today, you could find just about any type of gossip you might want, from suspicions about who is jacking deer out of season to the darkest speculation about marital infidelities. Cook's Illustrated
6
informal : to copy or appropriate (something, such as an idea or style) : hijack sense 2a
Apparently I'd struck a nerve in that sensitive place called the male ego. In his mind I'd accused him of hip-hop's equivalent of treason—jacking someone's style. Dream Hampton
7
informal : to hit (a ball) forcefully
Five batters later Martinez jacked an upper-deck grand slam off Mark Langston … Tom Verducci
Big Mac turns it up another notch, jacking five homers in his last 11 at-bats to finish with an unreal 70. ESPN
… Mickelson took an aggressive line off the tee and jacked a lob wedge over the green. Alan Shipnuck
8
a
informal : to grab, shove, or handle (someone or something) forcefully : jack up
Behind the building he was greeted by several bruisers looking for blood. "One guy jacked my horn out of my arms and threw it down," he [Ornette Coleman] says. David Grogan
b
informal : to cause injury to (someone or something) : jack up
The next week, he jacked his knee in a practice incident …, and it set him back a bit. racerxonline.com
c
informal : to beat up or hurt (someone) : jack up
Cejudo dropped Cruz with that knee and was jacking him with punches with no real response from Cruz. Dan Bernstein
d
informal : to treat or confront (someone) in a harassing, rough, or overly aggressive and typically unwarranted manner : jack up
"I honestly think the only reason I get jacked by the police is because I'm tall and black," said Maurice [St. Cyere], who is 5'9". The Bay State Banner
9
vulgar : masturbate, jack off

intransitive verb

: to hunt or fish at night with a jacklight or similar bright light
"… jacking involves the use of a high-powered light and a firearm at night. … Whether you are successful in getting a deer or not, it is an illegal act." Blaine Henshaw
jacker noun

see also jacked, jack in, jack into

Example Sentences

Noun I'd buy that watch, but I don't have the jack right now. a Portuguese ship flying the national jack
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
But Duffy, the jack of all trades, drilled a 24-yard field goal to put the Cardinals back in control in the fourth and on the precipice of a trip to Foxboro. Jake Levin, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Nov. 2022 Arena Cheese, known for its Colby jack, also sells a large assortment of sweetcheeses online and at its factory store at 300 Highway 14, just west of Madison. Jennifer Rude Klett, Journal Sentinel, 8 Nov. 2022 Only a few months into his life at Almira, Mason is already showcasing his ability to serve as a jack of all trades. Hannah Drown, cleveland, 7 Nov. 2022 A half-hour later, there wasn’t a jack-o-lantern face on that gourd by any means, but the two vultures had certainly carved their way into it and scattered small bits around the ground. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, 25 Oct. 2022 Adelstein was holding the seven and eight of clubs; Lew the jack of clubs and the four of hearts. Andrea Changstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 7 Oct. 2022 For many young athletes, switching positions can stunt development, building a jack of all trades rather than a master of any. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Sep. 2022 With vibrant neon hues, a soundtrack of New jack swing, and Veronica Webb in tow, Sergio Hudson SS23 was a blast from the past. Essence, 20 Sep. 2022 This approach is one of the things that makes the popular hi-lift style of off-road jack the wrong choice. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 24 Aug. 2022
Verb
Economist Robert Reich points out that corporations can jack up prices and not lose customers because there is a virtual monopoly in so many US industries today. Teresa M. Hanafin, BostonGlobe.com, 5 Nov. 2022 In fact, the Fed funds futures on the CME are now pricing in a more than 50% chance of a three-quarter-point increase next month and a more than 25% chance the Fed will jack up rates by a full percentage point. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 13 June 2022 In Louisville, Kentucky, for example, rapid gentrification in the city’s West End has caused private investors to snap up properties and jack up rents, even on units qualifying for subsidized housing. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Nov. 2022 So can regional banks continue to hold up well even as the Fed is expected to jack up interest rates even further? Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 24 Oct. 2022 The city will be able to jack up the price of the lease to fair market value or back out of the deal if The Other Side Village doesn’t meet the requirements. Blake Apgar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Oct. 2022 Thursday’s report underscored that the Fed may have to jack up its key short-term rate even higher than had been expected — and keep it there longer — to curb inflation. Los Angeles Times, 17 Oct. 2022 Many economists viewed the pace of hiring in August, when employers added 315,000 jobs, as a Goldilocks achievement: Warm but not so warm as to alarm the Fed and force it to jack up borrowing rates even more aggressively. Paul Wiseman, Fortune, 7 Oct. 2022 Many economists viewed the pace of hiring in August, when employers added 315,000 jobs, as a Goldilocks achievement: Warm but not so warm as to alarm the Fed and force it to jack up borrowing rates even more aggressively. Paul Wiseman, BostonGlobe.com, 7 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English Jacke, familiar term of address to a social inferior, nickname for Johan John

First Known Use

Noun

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 5a

Verb

1833, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of jack was in 1548

Dictionary Entries Near jack

Cite this Entry

“Jack.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jack. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

jack 1 of 2

noun

1
b
often capitalized : sailor
2
a
: a device for turning a spit (as in roasting meat)
b
: any of various portable devices for applying pressure or lifting a heavy body (as an automobile or a building) a short distance
3
: any of various animals: as
a
: a male donkey
4
a
: a small national flag flown by a ship
b
: a small six-pointed metal object used in a game
c
plural : a game played with jacks
5
: a playing card bearing the figure of a soldier or servant
6
slang : money sense 1a
7
: a socket used with a plug to connect one electric circuit with another

jack

2 of 2

verb

1
: to move or lift by or as if by a jack
2
: increase entry 1 sense 1, raise
jack up prices
jacker noun

More from Merriam-Webster on jack

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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