Definition of jab in English:



  • 1 Poke 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’
    • ‘Mr Hoebig jabbed at it quickly with his bow, but had to return his attention to his playing.’
    • ‘A hand came out of his pocket as a thumb jabbed at the air over his shoulder towards his house.’
    • ‘Ubdal found herself being jabbed at by rifles, and forced into her friends as the attacks advanced.’
    • ‘I was so angry as I left the hospital that I could barely see the numbers on my cell phone as my fingernail jabbed at it.’
    • ‘He pulled his staff from his pocket to deflect one of her punches, and quickly jabbed her in the ribs with the tip of it.’
    • ‘Bob Jay jabbed at her daughter furiously as she cradled the phone between her shoulder and her ear.’
    • ‘He jabbed at the button for floor number five, and the elevator doors closed, sealing us inside.’
    • ‘It came from the left and Eric dodged back and jabbed at his opponent.’
    • ‘The girl scowled and jabbed at his ribs with her dagger.’
    • ‘Izaeh charged at Aeros and attempted to knock her off her feet, but Aeros back flipped and jabbed at Izaeh.’
    • ‘He jabbed at the battered notice by the lych gate.’
    • ‘I stepped into the elevator at Nell's and closed my tired eyes as I jabbed at the fourth floor button.’
    • ‘Aikel parried her stab, and Kyri jabbed at her stomach with the end of her staff.’
    • ‘The sheriff jabbed at Porter with the pistol and repeated his question.’
    • ‘She jabbed at the button to turn the alarm off, and it stopped its absurd shrieking.’
    • ‘The guy whacked at our van with his stick and jabbed at Austin's face through the glass as Mike drove us away.’
    • ‘A tall, menacing African stood by the tracks and jabbed at me with his spear each time I passed.’
    • ‘All eyes turned to the second item written on the slide, as the studio boss jabbed at it with his cigar.’
    • ‘When she was about to hit the next in the vertical line, he drew a small dirk and jabbed at her.’
    • ‘Seagulls jabbed at the fish that lost their shelter.’
    poke, prod, dig, nudge, tap, butt, ram, elbow, shove, punch, jolt
    thrust, stab, push, plunge, stick, insert, drive, lunge
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    1. 1.1Roughly or quickly thrust (a sharp or pointed object) someone or something.
      ‘she jabbed the fork into the earth’
      • ‘Mark jabbed his fork at what he supposed was meant to be some kind of lasagna.’
      • ‘He shrugs his oversized shoulders and jabs his fork into some salad.’
      • ‘Ketara repeated, picking up her fork and jabbing it into her salad.’
      • ‘She reluctantly jabbed a fork into some beans, carefully avoiding the ragged edges of tin.’
      • ‘He stepped forward but was forced to back up as Floyd jabbed a stick at him.’
      • ‘The way he was jabbing his fork at the pasta sort of showed his frustration with that too.’
      • ‘Violet jabbed her stick at the cue and sunk the 8 in the middle of another, longer yawn.’
      • ‘Riana jabbed her fork at him before impaling another leaf of lettuce with it.’
      • ‘He was behind the man in thirty seconds, and while turning around, jabbed the syringe into his buttock.’
      thrust, stick, ram, drive, stab, push, shove, force, sink
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  • 1A quick, sharp blow, especially with the fist.

    ‘a jab in the stomach’
    • ‘Bowe proved that infighting posed no problems for him in spite of his size, as he displayed a wide range of shots including right uppercuts, jabs, body shots and a hard left hook that stung the champion.’
    • ‘Myst caught the fist but was still took the blow from the quick jab that followed.’
    • ‘Griff shots with a power punch in which Kidz dodged and somehow countered with five regular jabs to the face.’
    • ‘Tunney countered by foot movement and sharp punches starting with the jab.’
    • ‘Mixing up his jabs to the face and hooks to the body, Arthur poured on the pressure, and in the fifth it was just a question of how many more rounds O'Connell would let the undoubtedly game Greaves continue.’
    • ‘Cynthia attacks with a chop - Simon knocks the blow away, and gives her a quick jab to the stomach.’
    • ‘His words were cut short by a powerful blow in his stomach, followed by a series of lightning-fast jabs to his rugged face, and finished up with a jaw-shattering uppercut.’
    • ‘Dancing around slightly, he looked for cracks in Red's defence, throwing out small jabs to keep him complacent.’
    • ‘I give Winnie a quick jab with my left fist and a hard right hook.’
    • ‘A quick jab with his stone fist sent a flash of pain through Catherine's arm.’
    • ‘Hamed, who opted for silver leopardskin shorts to mark his return, which was cheered raucously by 10,000 fans inside the Arena, flicked out left jabs to find his range while the smaller Calvo looked nervous.’
    • ‘Crouching down, Lee sends two quick jabs and one uppercut to Kyoske as he tries to fight back.’
    • ‘Using jabs to keep the bigger man at bay and hard rights to stun him time after time, Ellis handled Bonavena with surprising ease.’
    • ‘He then hit me with three light left jabs to the face, and finished with another monster right hook to the face.’
    • ‘‘I'd leave your head in a bee's nest with my blows,’ Sharpe says, demonstrating with quick jabs into the defenseless air.’
    • ‘Before Kentaro had a chance to recover, Jake hit him with a blur of jabs to his chest and abdomen, then knocked him to the ground with a right-handed uppercut.’
    • ‘I kept driving him back with furious right handed jabs to the ribs.’
    • ‘Lazarus managed to block a blade as swift as a darting snake, disengaged, and went into a series of jabs to ward away his enemy.’
    • ‘Ali used his speed to avoid Cooper's hook and he used his jabs to open a severe cut over Cooper's eye.’
    • ‘I tried not to smile as I gave him a quick jab in the stomach, but in the end we were both laughing.’
    poke, prod, dig, nudge, tap, butt, elbow, shove, punch, jolt
    thrust, stab, push, plunge, drive, lunge
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British informal A hypodermic injection, especially a vaccination.
      ‘an anti-tetanus jab’
      • ‘They identified 436 hospital admissions in children who had been vaccinated with the MMR jab in the previous three months.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The mum contacted the surgery the next day and was told that Georgina had been administered the MMR booster jab on January 8.’
      • ‘But vaccination rates have fallen across Britain over fears that the jab could be linked to autism and a bowel disorder - leading to warnings of possible measles epidemics.’
      • ‘More than 70% of older people received a flu jab in the most affluent trusts, compared with 50% in the most deprived.’
      • ‘It is very important to check you are up to date with your tetanus jabs if your skin is broken in an injury or you are bitten.’
      • ‘Pupils in other years, along with the sixth formers, are also being offered the BCG jab to help vaccinate them against the disease, after undergoing a skin test to check they are not already immune.’
      • ‘A mobile clinic offering separate vaccinations as an alternative to the controversial MMR jab is to visit York next month.’
      • ‘A new website giving advice about medicines such as antidepressants and the MMR jab was launched today to help ‘fill the gap’ in patient information.’
      • ‘Oxford University scientists have found that the MMR jab does not increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease, as previously thought.’
      • ‘Nurse Jeanne Woodhouse started vaccinating at 10 am and the jabs were being taken up at a rate of one per minute.’
      • ‘Fears that the MMR jab may be linked to autism and bowel disorders have led some parents to opt for the single jabs as a ‘safer alternative’.’
      • ‘The most common causes of bruising after a blood test are lack of pressure on the site of the jab until the bleeding has stopped, or if the needle damaged the vein or other blood vessels while it was being inserted.’
      injection, inoculation, immunization, vaccination, revaccination, booster
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    2. 1.2A sharp, painful sensation or feeling.
      ‘a jab of envy’
      • ‘When I'm at work it's a struggle and my body gets jabs of pain now and again.’
      • ‘Another jab of pain comes from my stomach, reminding me to see why it hurts so much.’
      • ‘A sharp jab of pain stabbed at her leg, and she heard an ominous crack.’
      • ‘Straightened and helping me to my feet despite the small jabs of pain which came from my wounds, Alastor surveyed the area as I discarded the head and bones of my snack.’
      • ‘I let my hands drop limply into my lap and felt the fridge-cool cork against the back of my ear and then a sudden jab of pain.’
      • ‘Only when the sharp jabs of pain withdrew did she segue from stretching to a slow, mindless warm up.’
      • ‘She started walking when another jab of pain made her hunch forward on her knees.’
      • ‘The sharp jab of pain she felt when she did so was enough to convince her that it was most certainly not a dream.’
      • ‘A warm, stinging feeling had begun to spread about her shoulder, and sharp jabs of pain began attacking her knee.’
      • ‘She screamed to no one and at that took off at a bolt, ignoring the protesting jabs of pain in her chest as she shot over to the door and scrambling with the lock.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Alex says, gasping for air, the stab wound in his back sending excruciating jabs of pain through his whole body.’
      • ‘I expected some jab of pain to pierce my heart but it wasn't there.’


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