Definition of jab in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /jab/

verb (jabs, jabbing, jabbed)

[with object]
1Poke (someone or something) roughly or quickly, especially with something sharp or pointed: she jabbed him in his ribs [no object]: he jabbed at the air with his finger
More example sentences
  • Mr Hoebig jabbed at it quickly with his bow, but had to return his attention to his playing.
  • Ubdal found herself being jabbed at by rifles, and forced into her friends as the attacks advanced.
  • The guy whacked at our van with his stick and jabbed at Austin's face through the glass as Mike drove us away.
poke, prod, dig, nudge, butt, ram;
thrust, stab, push
1.1Poke someone or something roughly or quickly with (a sharp or pointed object or a part of the body): she jabbed the fork into the earth
More example sentences
  • Ketara repeated, picking up her fork and jabbing it into her salad.
  • The way he was jabbing his fork at the pasta sort of showed his frustration with that too.
  • Riana jabbed her fork at him before impaling another leaf of lettuce with it.


1A quick, sharp blow, especially with the fist: fast jabs to the face
More example sentences
  • Myst caught the fist but was still took the blow from the quick jab that followed.
  • Using jabs to keep the bigger man at bay and hard rights to stun him time after time, Ellis handled Bonavena with surprising ease.
  • Ali used his speed to avoid Cooper's hook and he used his jabs to open a severe cut over Cooper's eye.
1.1 informal A hypodermic injection, especially a vaccination: an anti-tetanus jab
More example sentences
  • Her mother Mandy, 38, has now urged all parents to have their children vaccinated with the MMR jab, which protects children against measles, mumps and rubella.
  • Mrs Lloyd said her son developed symptoms of the rare Guillain-Barre syndrome eight days after receiving the MMR jab.
  • A couple of weeks ago my son who has the same first name as me but he is M.A. Gray whilst I am M.P. Gray went to the surgery to have jabs etc. for his holiday in the Gambia.
1.2A sharp painful sensation or feeling: the jabs of pain up my spine a jab of envy
More example sentences
  • A sharp jab of pain stabbed at her leg, and she heard an ominous crack.
  • Gabrielle lay motionless on the ground, curled up in a ball, vainly trying to stop the ponding, flashes and sharp jabs of pain coming from all over her body, it seemed.
  • A warm, stinging feeling had begun to spread about her shoulder, and sharp jabs of pain began attacking her knee.


Early 19th century (originally Scots): variant of job2.

Words that rhyme with jab

blab, cab, confab, crab, Crabbe, dab, drab, fab, flab, gab, grab, kebab, lab, nab, scab, slab, smash-and-grab, stab, tab

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: jab

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.