Nearby words

  1. jumbo,
  2. jumbo jet,
  3. jumboize,
  4. jumbuck,
  5. jumna,
  6. jump all over someone,
  7. jump at,
  8. jump bail,
  9. jump ball,
  10. jump bid


Origin of jump

1505–15; compare Danish gumpe to jolt, gimpe to move up and down, Swedish gumpa, Low German gumpen to jump

1. Jump, leap, vault imply propelling oneself by a muscular effort, either into the air or from one position or place to another. Jump and leap are often used interchangeably, but jump indicates more particularly the springing movement of the feet in leaving the ground or support: to jump up and down. Leap (which formerly also meant to run) indicates the passage, by a springing movement of the legs, from one point or position to another: to leap across a brook. Vault implies leaping, especially with the aid of the hands or some instrument, over or upon something: to vault ( over ) a fence.

Related formsjump·a·ble, adjectivejump·ing·ly, adverbout·jump, verb (used with object)un·jump·a·ble, adjective

Can be confusedhop jump skip (see synonym study at the current entry) (see synonym study at skip1) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for jump at

jump at


(intr, preposition) to be glad to acceptI would jump at the chance of going



(intr) to leap or spring clear of the ground or other surface by using the muscles in the legs and feet
(tr) to leap over or clear (an obstacle)to jump a gap
(tr) to cause to leap over an obstacleto jump a horse over a hedge
(intr) to move or proceed hastily (into, onto, out of, etc)she jumped into a taxi and was off
(tr) informal to board so as to travel illegally onhe jumped the train as it was leaving
(intr) to parachute from an aircraft
(intr) to jerk or start, as with astonishment, surprise, etcshe jumped when she heard the explosion
to rise or cause to rise suddenly or abruptly
to pass or skip over (intervening objects or matter)she jumped a few lines and then continued reading
(intr) to change from one thing to another, esp from one subject to another
(tr) to drill by means of a jumper
(intr) (of a film)
  1. to have sections of a continuous sequence omitted, as through faulty cutting
  2. to flicker, as through faulty alignment of the film
(tr) US to promote in rank, esp unexpectedly or to a higher rank than expected
(tr) to start (a car) using jump leads
draughts to capture (an opponent's piece) by moving one of one's own pieces over it to an unoccupied square
(intr) bridge to bid in response to one's partner at a higher level than is necessary, to indicate a strong hand
(tr) to come off (a track, rail, etc)the locomotive jumped the rails
(intr) (of the stylus of a record player) to be jerked out of the groove
(intr) slang to be livelythe party was jumping when I arrived
(tr) informal to attack without warningthieves jumped the old man as he walked through the park
(tr) informal (of a driver or a motor vehicle) to pass through (a red traffic light) or move away from (traffic lights) before they change to green
(tr) British slang (of a man) to have sexual intercourse with
jump bail to forfeit one's bail by failing to appear in court, esp by absconding
jump down someone's throat informal to address or reply to someone with unexpected sharpness
jump ship to desert, esp to leave a ship in which one is legally bound to serve
jump the queue See queue-jump
jump to it informal to begin something quickly and efficiently


an act or instance of jumping
a space, distance, or obstacle to be jumped or that has been jumped
a descent by parachute from an aircraft
sport any of several contests involving a jumpthe high jump
a sudden risethe jump in prices last month
a sudden or abrupt transition
a sudden jerk or involuntary muscular spasm, esp as a reaction of surprise
a step or degreeone jump ahead
draughts a move that captures an opponent's piece by jumping over it
  1. a break in continuity in the normal sequence of shots
  2. (as modifier)a jump cut
computing another name for branch (def. 7)
British slang an act of sexual intercourse
on the jump informal, mainly US and Canadian
  1. in a hurry
  2. busy and energetic
take a running jump British informal a contemptuous expression of dismissal

Derived Formsjumpable, adjectivejumpingly, adverb

Word Origin for jump

C16: probably of imitative origin; compare Swedish gumpa to jump

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 jump at
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with jump at

jump at

Also, jump at the chance; jump at the bait. Take prompt advantage of, respond quickly to an opportunity. For example, When Dad said he'd help pay for my vacation, I jumped at the offer, or When the lead singer became ill, Sheila jumped at the chance to replace her, or They offered a large reward, hoping that someone would jump at the bait. [Mid-1700s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with jump

  • jump all over someone
  • jump at
  • jump bail
  • jump down someone's throat
  • jump in
  • jump on
  • jump out of one's skin
  • jump the gun
  • jump the track
  • jump through hoops
  • jump to a conclusion

also see:

  • get the drop (jump) on
  • go fly a kite (jump in the lake)
  • hop, skip and a jump
  • not know which way to jump
  • one jump ahead of
  • skip (jump) bail
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.