[ juhmp-awf, -of ]
/ ˈdʒʌmpˌɔf, -ˌɒf /


a place for jumping off.
a point of departure, as of a race or a military attack.
the start of such a departure.
a supplementary contest among horses tied for first place in a jumping contest.

Origin of jump-off

An Americanism dating back to 1870–75; noun use of verb phrase

Definition for jump-off (2 of 2)

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 forms

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

Can be confused

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

Examples from the Web for jump-off

  • These two were outliers to the rest, beating the bushes beyond the Jump-off incessantly.

  • “Some jump-off,” observed Bunker, but Big Boy did not hear him–he was looking up at the sun.

    Silver and Gold|Dane Coolidge

British Dictionary definitions for jump-off (1 of 2)



an extra round in a showjumping contest when two or more horses are equal first, the fastest round deciding the winner

verb jump off

(intr, adverb) to begin or engage in a jump-off

British Dictionary definitions for jump-off (2 of 2)


/ (dʒʌmp) /



Derived Forms

jumpable, 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

Idioms and Phrases with jump-off


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.