a portable drill operated by compressed air and used to drill rock, break up pavement, etc.

Origin of jackhammer

An Americanism dating back to 1925–30; jack1 + hammer
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jackhammer

Contemporary Examples of jackhammer

Historical Examples of jackhammer

  • They began knocking scales loose with the jackhammer and cutting into the leathery skin underneath with sonocutters.

    Four-Day Planet

    Henry Beam Piper

  • The noise a jackhammer makes isn't pleasant at all, but if it doesn't make that noise, you figure it isn't functioning properly.

    A Spaceship Named McGuire

    Gordon Randall Garrett

British Dictionary definitions for jackhammer



a hand-held hammer drill, driven by compressed air, for drilling rocks, etc
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 jackhammer

also jack hammer, 1903, from jack (n.) + hammer (n.). As a verb by 1965.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper