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verb (used without object), jarred, jar·ring.
  1. to have a harshly unpleasant or perturbing effect on one's nerves, feelings, thoughts, etc.: The sound of the alarm jarred.
  2. to produce a harsh, grating sound; sound discordantly.
  3. to vibrate audibly; rattle: The window jarred in the frame.
  4. to vibrate or shake.
  5. to conflict, clash, or disagree.
verb (used with object), jarred, jar·ring.
  1. to cause to rattle or shake.
  2. to have a sudden and unpleasant effect upon (the feelings, nerves, etc.): The burglary violently jarred their sense of security.
  3. to cause to sound harshly or discordantly.
  1. a jolt or shake; a vibrating movement, as from concussion.
  2. a sudden unpleasant effect upon the mind or feelings; shock.
  3. a harsh, grating sound.
  4. a discordant sound or combination of sounds.
  5. a quarrel or disagreement, especially a minor one.

Origin of jar2

1520–30; probably imitative; cf. chirr
Related formsjar·ring·ly, adverbun·jarred, adjectiveun·jar·ring, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for unjarring


  1. a wide-mouthed container that is usually cylindrical, made of glass or earthenware, and without handles
  2. Also: jarful the contents or quantity contained in a jar
  3. British informal a glass of alcoholic drink, esp beerto have a jar with someone
  4. obsolete a measure of electrical capacitance

Word Origin

C16: from Old French jarre, from Old Provençal jarra, from Arabic jarrah large earthen vessel


verb jars, jarring or jarred
  1. to vibrate or cause to vibrate
  2. to make or cause to make a harsh discordant sound
  3. (often foll by on) to have a disturbing or painful effect (on the nerves, mind, etc)
  4. (intr) to disagree; clash
  1. a jolt or shock
  2. a harsh discordant sound
Derived Formsjarring, adjectivejarringly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: probably of imitative origin; compare Old English cearran to creak


  1. on a jar or on the jar (of a door) slightly open; ajar

Word Origin

C17 (in the sense: turn): from earlier char, from Old English cierran to turn; see ajar 1
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 unjarring



1520s, "to make a harsh, grating sound," usually said to be echoic or imitative, but no one explains how, or of what. Figurative sense of "have an unpleasant effect on" is from 1530s; that of "cause to vibrate or shake" is from 1560s. Related: Jarred; jarring.



"cylindrical vessel," early 15c., possibly from Middle French jarre "liquid measure" (smaller than a barrel), 12c., from Provençal jarra, from Arabic jarrah "earthen water vessel" (whence also Spanish jarra, Italian giarra) [Klein].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper