jerk

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English

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Probably from Middle English yerk (sudden motion), from Old English ġearc (ready, active, quick). Compare Old English ġearcian (to prepare, make ready, procure, furnish, supply). Related to yare.

Alternative forms

Noun

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. (US, 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.
Usage notes
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Synonyms
Derived terms
Translations
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See also

Verb

jerk (third-person singular simple present jerks, present participle jerking, simple past and past participle jerked)

  1. (intransitive) To make a sudden uncontrolled movement.
    • 1877, Anna Sewell, Black Beauty Chapter 23[1]
      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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Florio to this entry?)
  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
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From American Spanish charquear, from charqui, from Quechuan echarqui (strips of dried flesh).

Noun

jerk (uncountable)

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

Verb

jerk (third-person singular simple present jerks, present participle jerking, simple past and past participle jerked)

  1. To cure (meat) by cutting it into strips and drying it, originally in the sun.
    • 2011, Dominic Smith, Bright and Distant Shores, page 106:
      The Lemakot in the north strangled widows and threw them into the cremation pyres of their dead husbands. If they defeated potential invaders the New Irish hanged the vanquished from banyan trees, flensed their windpipes, removed their heads, left their intestines to jerk in the sun.
Translations

French

Etymology

From English

Noun

jerk m (plural jerks)

  1. jerk (dance)

External links


Manx

Verb

jerk (verbal noun jerkal, past participle jerkit)

  1. to expect

Mutation

Manx mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
jerk yerk n'yerk
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.