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2017 Word of the Year

yellow jack

noun, plural (especially collectively) yellow jack (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) yellow jacks for 3.
1.
Informal. quarantine flag.
2.
Pathology. yellow fever.
3.
any carangoid fish, especially a Caribbean food fish, Caranx bartholomaei.
Origin of yellow jack
1830-1840
An Americanism dating back to 1830-40
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for yellow jack
Historical Examples
  • She was at once ordered into quarantine, and to hoist the "yellow jack" at the fore.

    In Eastern Seas J. J. Smith
  • That is to say,” he added, “if yellow jack has not got a grip of me in the meantime.

    Marmaduke Merry William H. G. Kingston
  • And right then they were dying forty a day in Guayaquil of yellow jack.

    The Red One Jack London
  • At last “yellow jack” was thundered out loud enough to awake his victims from the palisades.

    Rattlin the Reefer Edward Howard
  • Cholera and yellow jack or strange hunger-fevers cut wide swaths of death again and again among the helpless people.

    Cyrus Hall McCormick

    Herbert Newton Casson
  • That fever, “yellow jack” as we used to call it, is truly one of the most dreadful scourges of the West Indies.

    Hurricane Hurry W.H.G. Kingston
  • We had not been long in that treacherous clime before “yellow jack,” as sailors call the yellow fever, came on board.

    The Ferryman of Brill William H. G. Kingston
  • You see, the first symptoms are similar in yellow jack and relapsing bilious fever.

  • Now if we could meet an enemy, and have a good warm engagement, we should soon put yellow jack and him to flight together.

    True Blue W.H.G. Kingston
  • We must not forget poor Molly—how nobly she braved yellow jack himself when the sick wanted her aid!

    True Blue W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for yellow jack

yellow jack

noun
1.
(pathol) another name for yellow fever
2.
another name for quarantine flag
3.
any of certain large yellowish carangid food fishes, esp Caranx bartholomaei, of warm and tropical Atlantic waters
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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