- any of various portable devices for raising or lifting heavy objects short heights, using various mechanical, pneumatic, or hydraulic methods.
- Also called knave. Cards. a playing card bearing the picture of a soldier or servant.
- Electricity. a connecting device in an electrical circuit designed for the insertion of a plug.
- (initial capital letter) Informal. fellow; buddy; man (usually used in addressing a stranger): Hey, Jack, which way to Jersey?
- Also called jackstone. Games.
- one of a set of small metal objects having six prongs, used in the game of jacks.
- one of any other set of objects, as pebbles, stones, etc., used in the game of jacks.
- jacks,(used with a singular verb)a children's game in which small metal objects, stones, pebbles, or the like, are tossed, caught, and moved on the ground in a number of prescribed ways, usually while bouncing a rubber ball.
- any of several carangid fishes, especially of the genus Caranx, as C. hippos (crevalle jack or jack crevalle), of the western Atlantic Ocean.
- Slang. money: He won a lot of jack at the races.
- Slang: Vulgar. jack shit.
- (initial capital letter) a sailor.
- a lumberjack.
- jack rabbit.
- a jackass.
- a device for turning a spit.
- a small wooden rod in the mechanism of a harpsichord, spinet, or virginal that rises when the key is depressed and causes the attached plectrum to strike the string.
- Lawn Bowling. a small, usually white bowl or ball used as a mark for the bowlers to aim at.
- Also called clock jack. Horology. a mechanical figure that strikes a clock bell.
- a premigratory young male salmon.
- Theater. brace jack.
- Falconry. the male of a kestrel, hobby, or especially of a merlin.
- to lift or move (something) with or as if with a jack (usually followed by up): to jack a car up to change a flat tire.
- Informal. to increase, raise, or accelerate (prices, wages, speed, etc.) (usually followed by up).
- Informal. to boost the morale of; encourage (usually followed by up).
- Slang. to mess up, ruin, or injure (usually followed by up): The paint job was all jacked up.I jacked my shoulder when I fell.
- to jacklight.
- to jacklight.
- Carpentry. having a height or length less than that of most of the others in a structure; cripple: jack rafter; jack truss.
- jack off, Slang: Vulgar. to masturbate.
- every man jack, everyone without exception: They presented a formidable opposition, every man jack of them.
Origin of jack1
- to steal: Some neighborhood kids jacked her car and took it for a joyride.Hackers jacked my email account in a phishing scam.
- to rob: He got jacked on his way home from the club.
Origin of jack2
Origin of jack3
- a defensive coat, usually of leather, worn in medieval times by foot soldiers and others.
- a container for liquor, originally of waxed leather coated with tar.
Origin of jack4
- JohnJack, 1917–1999, Irish political leader: prime minister 1966–73, 1977–79.
- Ber·na·dotte Ev·er·ly [bur-nuh-dot ev-er-lee] /ˈbɜr nəˌdɒt ˈɛv ər li/, 1886–1969, U.S. historian.
- Harrison (Ha·gan) [hey-guh n] /ˈheɪ gən/, Jack, born 1935, U.S. astronaut, geologist, and politician: U.S. senator 1977–83.
- Wel·don John [wel-dn] /ˈwɛl dn/, Jack, 1905–64, U.S. jazz trombonist and singer.
- Sir John ArthurJack, 1926–2014, Australian racing-car driver and designer.
Related Wordshoist, shove, cadet, swab, salt, tarpaulin, seaman, pirate, mate, seafarer, navigator, mariner, marine, pilot, bluejacket, jack-tar, shipmate, tar, windjammer, boater
Examples from the Web for jack
Starting in the 1970s, then MPAA president Jack Valenti began what was to become a decades-long fight against the quota system.Propaganda, Protest, and Poisonous Vipers: The Cinema War in Korea
December 30, 2014
Heinold's First and Last Chance, Oakland (Jack London, Taft) You can thank Johnny Heinold for your favorite Jack London book.The Bars That Made America Great
December 28, 2014
But not even the threat of death can suppress the urge to live vicariously through Jack Dawson and James Bond.North Korea’s Secret Movie Bootleggers: How Western Films Make It Into the Hermit Kingdom
December 22, 2014
As I size up the scene, Jack White now wears the crown … and he wears it well.The Best Albums of 2014
December 13, 2014
Like a Jack in the Box just sprung from coiled captivity, he begins rambling excitedly.Rob Marshall Defends ‘Into the Woods’
December 9, 2014
I—I am rather apologetic, Jack, because I didn't explain to you sooner.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Jack Bates looked up from emptying the third spoon of sugar into his coffee.
"Yes, that was another of Jack's fool schemes," put in Slim.
"I don't think you'll go alone," asserted Jack Bates, grabbing his hat.
Chilluns always like to stay with their fathahs when they's nice as my Papa Jack is.The Little Colonel
Annie Fellows Johnston
- a man or fellow
- a sailor
- the male of certain animals, esp of the ass or donkey
- a mechanical or hydraulic device for exerting a large force, esp to raise a heavy weight such as a motor vehicle
- any of several mechanical devices that replace manpower, such as a contrivance for rotating meat on a spit
- one of four playing cards in a pack, one for each suit, bearing the picture of a young prince; knave
- bowls a small usually white bowl at which the players aim with their own bowls
- electrical engineering a female socket with two or more terminals designed to receive a male plug (jack plug) that either makes or breaks the circuit or circuits
- a flag, esp a small flag flown at the bow of a ship indicating the ship's nationalityCompare Union Jack
- nautical either of a pair of crosstrees at the head of a topgallant mast used as standoffs for the royal shrouds
- a part of the action of a harpsichord, consisting of a fork-shaped device on the end of a pivoted lever on which a plectrum is mounted
- any of various tropical and subtropical carangid fishes, esp those of the genus Caranx, such as C. hippos (crevalle jack)
- Also called: jackstone one of the pieces used in the game of jacks
- short for applejack, bootjack, jackass, jackfish, jack rabbit, lumberjack
- US a slang word for money
- every man jack everyone without exception
- the jack Australian slang venereal disease
- jack of Australian slang tired or fed up with (something)
- to lift or push (an object) with a jack
- electrical engineering to connect (an electronic device) with another by means of a jack and a jack plug
- Also: jacklight US and Canadian to hunt (fish or game) by seeking them out or dazzling them with a flashlight
- short for jackfruit
- a short sleeveless coat of armour of the Middle Ages, consisting usually of a canvas base with metal plates
- archaic a drinking vessel, often of leather
- I'm all right, Jack British informal
- a remark indicating smug and complacent selfishness
- (as modifier)an ``I'm all right, Jack'' attitude
- Sir John Arthur, known as Jack . born 1926, Australian motor-racing driver: Formula One world champion 1959, 1960, and 1966
- (tr) (of a mob) to punish (a person) for some supposed offence by hanging without a trial
- David. born 1946, US film director; his work includes the films Eraserhead (1977), Blue Velvet (1986), Wild at Heart (1990), Mulholland Drive (2001), and Inland Empire (2006), and the television series Twin Peaks (1990)
- John, known as Jack Lynch. 1917–99, Irish statesman; prime minister of the Republic of Ireland (1966–73; 1977–79)
Word Origin and History for jack
masc. proper name, 1218, probably an anglicization of Old French Jacques (which was a diminutive of Latin Jacobus; see Jacob), but in English the name always has been associated with Johan, Jan "John," and some have argued that it is a native formation.
Alliterative coupling of Jack and Jill is from 15c. (Ienken and Iulyan). In England, applied familiarly or contemptuously to anybody (especially one of the lower classes) from late 14c. Later used especially of sailors (1650s; Jack-tar is from 1781). In U.S., as a generic name addressed to an unknown stranger, attested from 1889.
late 14c., jakke "a mechanical device," from the masc. name Jack. The proper name was used in Middle English for "any common fellow" (mid-14c.), and thereafter extended to various appliances replacing servants (1570s). Used generically of men (jack-of-all-trades, 1610s), male animals (1620s, see jackass, jackdaw, etc.), and male personifications (1520s, e.g. Jack Frost, 1826).
As the name of a device for pulling off boots, from 1670s. The jack in a pack of playing cards (1670s) is in German Bauer "peasant." Jack shit "nothing at all" is attested by 1968, U.S. slang. The plant jack-in-the-pulpit is attested by 1837. Jack the Ripper was active in London 1888. The jack of Union Jack is a nautical term for "small flag at the bow of a ship" (1630s).
1860, jack up "hoist, raise," American English, from the noun (see jack (n.)). Figurative sense "increase (prices, etc.)" is 1904, American English. Related: Jacked; jacking. Jack off (v.) "to masturbate" is attested from 1916, probably from jack (n.) in the sense of "penis."
1835, from earlier Lynch law (1811), likely named after William Lynch (1742-1820) of Pittsylvania, Virginia, who c.1780 led a vigilance committee to keep order there during the Revolution. Other sources trace the name to Charles Lynch (1736-1796) a Virginia magistrate who fined and imprisoned Tories in his district c.1782, but the connection to him is less likely. Originally any sort of summary justice, especially by flogging; narrowing of focus to "extralegal execution by hanging" is 20c. Lynch mob is attested from 1838. The surname is perhaps from Irish Loingseach "sailor." Cf. earlier Lydford law, from a place in Dartmoor, England, "where was held a Stannaries Court of summary jurisdiction" [Weekley], hence:
Lydford law: is to hang men first, and indite them afterwards. [Thomas Blount, "Glossographia," 1656]
Related: Lynched; lynching.
Idioms and Phrases with jack
In addition to the idioms beginning with jack
- jack off
- jack up
- before you can say Jack Robinson