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verb (used with or without object), jabbed, jab·bing.
  1. to poke, or thrust abruptly or sharply, as with the end or point of a stick.
  2. to punch, especially with a short, quick blow.
  1. a poke with the end or point of something; a sharp, quick thrust.
  2. a short, quick punch.

Origin of jab

1815–25; variant, orig. Scots, of job2
Related formsjab·bing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for jabbed


verb jabs, jabbing or jabbed
  1. to poke or thrust sharply
  2. to strike with a quick short blow or blows
  1. a sharp poke or stab
  2. a quick short blow, esp (in boxing) a straight punch with the leading hand
  3. informal an injectionpolio jabs
Derived Formsjabbing, adjectivejabbingly, adverb

Word Origin

C19: originally Scottish variant of job
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for jabbed



1825, "to thrust with a point," Scottish variant of job "to strike, pierce, thrust," from Middle English jobben "to jab, thrust, peck" (late 15c.), of unknown origin, perhaps echoic. Related: Jabbed; jabbing.



1825, from jab (v.). Meaning "a punch with the fist" is from 1889. Sense of "injection with a hypodermic needle," beloved by headline writers, is from 1914.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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