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Origin of jerk

1
1540–50; 1935–40 for def. 4; perhaps dialectal variant of yerk to draw stitches tight (shoemaker's term), thus making the shoe ready to wear, Old English gearcian to prepare, make ready

OTHER WORDS FROM jerk

jerker, nounjerk·ing·ly, adverb

Other definitions for jerk (2 of 2)

jerk2
[ jurk ]
/ dʒɜrk /

verb (used with object)
to preserve (meat, especially beef) by cutting in strips and curing by drying in the sun.
adjective
being or containing a spicy seasoning mixture flavored with allspice, used especially in Jamaican cooking: jerk sauce.
prepared with jerk flavorings, especially by barbecuing or grilling: jerk chicken.
noun

Origin of jerk

2
First recorded in 1700–10; back formation from jerky2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use jerk in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for jerk (1 of 2)

jerk1
/ (dʒɜːk) /

verb
noun

Derived forms of jerk

jerker, nounjerking, adjective, noun

Word Origin for jerk

C16: probably variant of yerk to pull stitches tight in making a shoe; compare Old English gearcian to make ready

British Dictionary definitions for jerk (2 of 2)

jerk2
/ (dʒɜːk) /

verb (tr)
to preserve (venison, beef, etc) by cutting into thin strips and curing by drying in the sun
noun
Also called: jerky jerked meat, esp beef

Word Origin for jerk

C18: back formation from jerky, from charqui
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

Medical definitions for jerk

jerk
[ jûrk ]

v.
To make spasmodic motions.
n.
A sudden reflexive or spasmodic muscular movement.deep reflex
jerks Involuntary convulsive twitching often resulting from excitement. Often used with the.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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