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90s Slang You Should Know


[jab] /dʒæb/
verb (used with or without object), jabbed, jabbing.
to poke, or thrust abruptly or sharply, as with the end or point of a stick.
to punch, especially with a short, quick blow.
a poke with the end or point of something; a sharp, quick thrust.
a short, quick punch.
Origin of jab
1815-25; variant, orig. Scots, of job2
Related forms
jabbingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for jabbing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A burly sergeant was commanding them, and forcing back the crowd by jabbing men in the stomachs.

    Samuel the Seeker Upton Sinclair
  • His arm felt as though someone were jabbing it with a knife.

  • He'd missed a vital point in the beast's anatomy, but was jabbing away desperately with his beak.

    Valley of Dreams Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
  • "Of course," said Carol, jabbing her hair pins in with startling energy.

    Prudence Says So Ethel Hueston
  • He awoke, aware of stinging pain in his eyelids and the jabbing of a thousand needles below the surface of his skin.

    Deepfreeze Robert Donald Locke
  • He wheeled on his heels, aiming a jabbing forefinger at this man and that.

    Those Times And These Irvin S. Cobb
  • As he spoke O'Connor emphasized his remark by jabbing the muzzle of the pistol into Villamonte's ribs.

    A Voyage with Captain Dynamite Charles Edward Rich
  • The common method of jabbing or pecking the background is objectionable.

British Dictionary definitions for jabbing


verb jabs, jabbing, jabbed
to poke or thrust sharply
to strike with a quick short blow or blows
a sharp poke or stab
a quick short blow, esp (in boxing) a straight punch with the leading hand
(informal) an injection: polio jabs
Derived Forms
jabbing, adjective
jabbingly, 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
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Word Origin and History for jabbing



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.



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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