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[jur-kin] /ˈdʒɜr kɪn/
a close-fitting jacket or short coat, usually sleeveless, as one of leather worn in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Origin of jerkin
First recorded in 1510-20; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for jerkin
Historical Examples
  • This book Peter thrust away within his jerkin to study at his leisure.

    Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
  • So, throwing it from him, he brushed the crumbs from his jerkin.

  • Sim had crept up, and, standing behind Ralph, was plucking at his jerkin.

  • He was plainly dressed, and wore a jerkin of leather and long boots.

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
  • But every man wore a shirt of mail under his doublet or jerkin.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • He seemed all clad in leather, for where his jerkin stopped his boots began.

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
  • Roger stripped his jerkin off, replaced his doublet, and both set to work.

    Across the Spanish Main Harry Collingwood
  • I will wrap the tools up quickly in their bag, and slip them into my jerkin.

    Across the Spanish Main Harry Collingwood
  • A coachman in a jerkin, who stood nearest, sprang forward and snatched it up.

    War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • Dumb Max's jerkin of blue fits me better than any robe royal.

    Joan of the Sword Hand S(amuel) R(utherford) Crockett
British Dictionary definitions for jerkin


a sleeveless and collarless short jacket worn by men or women
a man's sleeveless and collarless fitted jacket, often made of leather, worn in the 16th and 17th centuries
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin
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 jerkin

1510s, of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Dutch jurk "a frock," but this is a modern word, itself of unknown origin, and the initial consonant presents difficulties (Dutch -j- typically becomes English -y-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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