• (British) IPA: /d͡ʒɜːk/
  • (America) IPA: /d͡ʒɝk/

jerk (plural jerks)

  1. A sudden, often uncontrolled movement, especially of the body.
    • 1856, Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Part III Chapter X, translated by Eleanor Marx-Aveling
      The black cloth bestrewn with white beads blew up from time to time, laying bare the coffin. The tired bearers walked more slowly, and it advanced with constant jerks, like a boat that pitches with every wave.
  2. A quick, often unpleasant tug or shake.
    When I yell "OK," give the mooring line a good jerk!
  3. (US, slang, pejorative) A dull or stupid person.
  4. (North America, slang, pejorative) A person with unlikable or obnoxious qualities and behavior, typically mean, self-centered or disagreeable.
    • I finally fired him, because he was being a real jerk to his customers, even to some of the staff.
    • You really are a jerk sometimes.
  5. (physics, engineering) The rate of change in acceleration with respect to time.
  6. (obsolete) A soda jerk.
  7. (weightlifting) A lift in which the weight is taken with a quick motion from shoulder height to a position above the head with arms fully extended and held there for a brief time.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

jerk (jerks, present participle jerking; past and past participle jerked)

  1. (intransitive) To make a sudden uncontrolled movement.
    • 1877, Anna Sewell, Black Beauty Chapter 23
      York came to me first, whilst the groom stood at Ginger's head. He drew my head back and fixed the rein so tight that it was almost intolerable; then he went to Ginger, who was impatiently jerking her head up and down against the bit, as was her way now.
  2. (transitive) To give a quick, often unpleasant tug or shake.
  3. (US, slang, vulgar) To masturbate.
  4. (obsolete) To beat, to hit.
  5. (obsolete) To throw with a quick and suddenly arrested motion of the hand.
    to jerk a stone
  6. (usually, transitive, weightlifting) To lift using a jerk.
  7. (obsolete) To flout with contempt.
Translations Translations
  • German: rucken
  • Russian: дёргать

jerk (uncountable)

  1. (Caribbean) A rich, spicy Jamaican marinade.
  2. (Caribbean) Meat cured by jerking; charqui.
    Jerk chicken is a local favorite.
Related terms Verb

jerk (jerks, present participle jerking; past and past participle jerked)

  1. To cure (meat) by cutting it into strips and drying it, originally in the sun.

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