There are 2 main definitions of jerk in English:

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jerk1

Line breaks: jerk
Pronunciation: /dʒəːk
 
/

noun

1A quick, sharp, sudden movement: he gave a sudden jerk of his head
More example sentences
  • With a sudden jerk of his head, the silent constable directed her roughly inside.
  • She was about to open her mouth to scream when she felt a sudden jerk.
  • The kids felt a sudden sideways jerk as a whining noise began to permeate the room.
Synonyms
jolt, lurch, bump, start, jar, jog, bang, bounce, shake, shock
rare jounce
1.1A spasmodic muscular twitch.
Example sentences
  • When the myoclonic jerks are unilateral, a more serious condition is often suspected.
  • This attitude by Christians will accompany experiences that are ‘all spasmodic, full of jerks and starts.’
  • With a lot of prodding and poking and pushing and cajoling, it set off with a spasmodic jerk.
1.2 Weightlifting The raising of a barbell above the head from shoulder level by an abrupt straightening of the arms and legs, typically as the second part of a clean and jerk.
Example sentences
  • Begin your sessions with exercises like deadlifts, squats, clean and jerks, and bench presses.
  • The lying French press is critical in the iron sports, including the jerk in weightlifting and the bench press in power-lifting.
  • I would have 860 lb weights on my shoulders and would do one-arm jerks with 120 lb weights.
2 informal A contemptibly foolish person.
Example sentences
  • Although I think it's foolish and her boyfriend is a jerk for suggesting it, I am more concerned about the value and safety of this thing.
  • We're all looking like incompetent jerks right now.
  • I'm willing to say that yes, I am a moron, and a jerk, and I will pay all costs for your heel and dress to be cleaned and fixed.

verb

Back to top  
1 [with adverbial of direction] Move or cause to move with a jerk: [no object]: the van jerked forward [with object]: she jerked her chin up figurative the thud jerked her back to reality
More example sentences
  • Cold leathery fingers suddenly grabbed Niall by the chin and jerked his head forward as the other High Sablebloods moved in for the kill.
  • Fleur remembered the crease under her chin and unconsciously jerked her neck backwards.
  • I jerked up my chin to see my uncles had already cast down their shovels.
Synonyms
jolt, lurch, bump, jog, bang, rattle, bounce, shake
rare jounce
1.1 [with object] Weightlifting Raise (a weight) from shoulder level to above the head.
Example sentences
  • Never jerk the weight up; control it throughout the movement.
  • Make sure not to swing or jerk the weight, as this is a sure-fire way to pull something.
  • If you have to jerk the weight, it is probably too heavy, which can lead to strain and injury.

Origin

mid 16th century (denoting a stroke with a whip): probably imitative.

More
  • The word jerk was first recorded meaning ‘a stroke with a whip’; it is probably imitative of the action. The slang use meaning ‘fool, stupid person’ is originally a US usage dating from the 1930s.

Phrasal verbs

jerk someone around

1
North American informal Deal with someone dishonestly or unfairly.
Example sentences
  • As long as your friends are true to you, I'd speculate that your boyfriend is jerking you around.
  • They take advantage of having a tiny bit of power over other people because they totally get off on jerking them around.
  • If they jerk you around, get over it - you can always move!

jerk off

2
vulgar slang , chiefly North American Masturbate.

Derivatives

jerker

1
noun
Example sentences
  • To me, and I am not one of those free market knee jerkers who like Bobby McFerrin sing, don't worry, be happy.
  • The woman was wearing a men's jerker with a black vest and loose, tan trousers.

Words that rhyme with jerk

berk, berserk, Burke, cirque, dirk, Dunkirk, erk, irk, kirk, lurk, mirk, murk, outwork, perk, quirk, shirk, smirk, stirk, Turk, work

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There are 2 main definitions of jerk in English:

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jerk2

Line breaks: jerk
Pronunciation: /dʒəːk
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Cure (meat) by cutting it into strips and drying it (originally in the sun).
Example sentences
  • But the book is not just about jerking every possible kind of poultry or meat.
2 (usually as adjective jerked) Prepare (pork or chicken) by marinating it in spices and barbecuing it over a wood fire: they either jerk the meat or dry it above a smoky fire

noun

[mass noun, often as modifier] Back to top  
Jerked meat: jerk chicken
More example sentences
  • The basement area will be opened with live music, and the samba and the liming will make this joint hotter than jerk chicken.
  • As you might expect, jerk chicken, fish and fresh fruit are staples on this menu.
  • I like all the curries and this jerk chicken with the rice and a great selection of vegetables.

Origin

early 18th century: from Latin American Spanish charquear, from charqui, from Quechua echarqui 'dried flesh'.

More
  • The word jerk was first recorded meaning ‘a stroke with a whip’; it is probably imitative of the action. The slang use meaning ‘fool, stupid person’ is originally a US usage dating from the 1930s.

Definition of jerk in:

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