Definition of jab in English:

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Pronunciation: /dʒab/

verb (jabs, jabbing, jabbed)

[with object and adverbial]
1Poke 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, tap, butt, ram, elbow, shove, punch, jolt;
thrust, stab, push, plunge, stick, insert, drive, lunge
1.1Roughly or quickly thrust (a sharp or pointed object) someone or something: 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: a jab in the stomach
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.
poke, prod, dig, nudge, tap, butt, elbow, shove, punch, jolt;
thrust, stab, push, plunge, drive, lunge
1.1British 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: 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

Line breaks: jab

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