Main definitions of jerk in English

: jerk1jerk2

jerk1

noun

  • 1A quick, sharp, sudden movement.

    ‘he gave a sudden jerk of his head’
    • ‘Instead of releasing me, he gave my wrist a jerk, pulling me a step closer.’
    • ‘With a quick jerk of the head there was a crack.’
    • ‘Jack roughly broke her grip with a jerk of his wrist.’
    • ‘Salazar caught their waiter's eye and called him over with a quick jerk of the head.’
    • ‘With a sudden jerk of his head, the silent constable directed her roughly inside.’
    • ‘He motioned behind him with a jerk of his thumb.’
    • ‘And when the jerk of the rope pulled him back and tossed him a hundred feet back into the air, a wide grin broke across his face.’
    • ‘An unexpected jerk on Sakura's back pulled her to the ground again.’
    • ‘With a jerk of her thumb she gestured to where boxes upon boxes stood stacked.’
    • ‘He gave a startled jerk and pulled away, surprising the one who was holding him with how strong he actually was.’
    • ‘Then she felt a swift jerk on her sleeve and she noted Rina pulling desperately.’
    • ‘With a rough jerk, he pulled down a cylindrical piston ringed with switches and green lights.’
    • ‘With a deft jerk of her wrist, she flung the flower out the window as well.’
    • ‘As soon as they attacked, he pulled his hands apart with a jerk, breaking the rope.’
    • ‘I made my first cast and made two short pulls when the fly was taken with a violent jerk.’
    • ‘The kids felt a sudden sideways jerk as a whining noise began to permeate the room.’
    • ‘With a jerk of the head, the Locum Yellow Rose vomited a scroll of paper onto the carpet.’
    • ‘Ryan turns the sink faucet on with a jerk of his wrist, splashing the cold water on his face.’
    • ‘My tolerance for ego-inflated jerks was just about finished up already.’
    • ‘She was about to open her mouth to scream when she felt a sudden jerk.’
    yank, tug, pull, wrench, snatch, heave, drag, tweak, twitch
    jolt, lurch, bump, start, jar, jog, bang, bounce, shake, shock
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A spasmodic muscular twitch.
      • ‘One of the best-known reflexes is the tendon jerk reflex.’
      • ‘On the sleep questionnaire he denied restless sleep, or leg jerks.’
      • ‘There are various theories about what causes myoclonic jerks, as they're known - one is poor circulation.’
      • ‘Usually these movements include dorsiflexions of the ankles and toes, which are slower than myoelonic jerks.’
      • ‘This attitude by Christians will accompany experiences that are ‘all spasmodic, full of jerks and starts.’’
      • ‘The tendon jerk reflex is relatively simple and involves a relatively small region of the spinal cord.’
      • ‘You may have muscle jerks or pins and needles in one arm or leg.’
      • ‘With a lot of prodding and poking and pushing and cajoling, it set off with a spasmodic jerk.’
      • ‘Such tendon jerks are tested as part of a routine neurological examination, to assess the state of synaptic connections.’
      • ‘Opiate drugs can help relieve pain, and the drugs clonazepam and sodium valproate may help relieve involuntary muscle jerks.’
      • ‘Then, with a spasmodic jerk, its grip on the man's soul was wrent, and it tumbled out of the temple.’
      • ‘The knee jerk reaction is to jump into line but this time forget it.’
      • ‘Finally it happened and the knee jerk reaction is to build a big fence.’
      • ‘The jerks occur most frequently in the early morning.’
      • ‘Can we blame the myoclonic jerk for this incident?’
      • ‘When the myoclonic jerks are unilateral, a more serious condition is often suspected.’
    2. 1.2Weightlifting [in singular] 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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Begin your sessions with exercises like deadlifts, squats, clean and jerks, and bench presses.’
      yank, tug, pull, wrench, snatch, heave, drag, tweak, twitch
      View synonyms
  • 2informal A contemptibly obnoxious person.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They even manage to love the jerk who does it all to them.’
    • ‘No longer was he the annoying, immature jerk next door.’
    • ‘So if he turns out to be a jerk you can just drag me away and I won't have to talk to him again!’
    • ‘We're all looking like incompetent jerks right now.’
    • ‘Until the dog and I were out for a stroll and happened along some jerks throwing rocks in the ocean.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He started to step forward, intent on following the jerk, but Kenta was at his side before he could so much as shuffle forward half a step.’
    • ‘I nodded my head slowly… suddenly realizing that I was dealing with an arrogant conceited jerk!’
    • ‘I know I may sound like a jerk when I insist she isn't pregnant, but she isn't.’
    • ‘I suddenly felt this sick feeling in my gut like I had been the biggest jerk in the world.’
    • ‘Margot Kidder stars as a jerk of a nurse in charge of an elderly hospital wing.’
    • ‘He's got to be the biggest jerk in the whole world.’
    • ‘This was pretty cool, until I realized that the only reason driving is this easy is that I am one of the jerks still working.’
    • ‘If Anna wanted to go off and marry some jerk what did it matter to him?’
    • ‘Rett nodded, thinking to himself that that guy was a real jerk.’
    • ‘Now she was asking for his permission to date the jerk.’
    • ‘He didn't have to tell me not to cry, I had no intention of crying in front of the jerk.’
    • ‘Kenji, being the impatient jerk, quickly pulled the towel out of Unbi's pants.’
    • ‘Personally, I thought the guy was a total jerk.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 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’
    • ‘If you jerk it forward quickly you can throw yourself into a dive - and you're on your own as the G-force kicks in.’
    • ‘He jerks his chin in the direction of the cabin and beckons.’
    • ‘‘Have a seat,’ he continued, jerking his chin in the direction of a pair of chairs situated nearby.’
    • ‘I jerked up my chin to see my uncles had already cast down their shovels.’
    • ‘Nat grinned and jerked his chin toward the door to indicate Dyana follow him.’
    • ‘Andy called out, jerking his chin upward in the direction of the tall, slender, much sought-after brunette.’
    • ‘Colonel Weatherly returned his attention to the windows and then jerked his chin toward the carriage parked out in front.’
    • ‘But I before he could finish I jerked his chin over to my face and made him look at me.’
    • ‘He turns me around, jerking my chin up to look into his dead, black eyes.’
    • ‘Paul jerked his chin at me and then disappeared into his office.’
    • ‘Pulling her long black hair out of her face, she jerked her chin at the door behind her.’
    • ‘Pretty much my only moves involve jerking my arms robotically and twitching my head back and forth.’
    • ‘It moved sharply, jerking its head and staring down at them with wildfire eyes, its fangs glimmering as it hissed, then disappeared.’
    • ‘He glanced past her, jerking his chin in the direction of the lake.’
    • ‘I rolled my eyes jerking my chin from Tunes hands.’
    • ‘Fleur remembered the crease under her chin and unconsciously jerked her neck backwards.’
    • ‘He merely jerked her forward so that she was much closer to him than she would ever like to be.’
    • ‘Cold leathery fingers suddenly grabbed Niall by the chin and jerked his head forward as the other High Sablebloods moved in for the kill.’
    • ‘Maggie shook her chin away and jerked her hand from his grasp.’
    • ‘A frogfish extends and dangles its illicium just above its mouth, flicking, jerking, and waving the lure.’
    jolt, lurch, bump, jog, bang, rattle, bounce, shake
    yank, tug, pull, wrench, wrest, heave, haul, drag, tweak, twitch, pluck, snatch, seize, rip, tear, whisk
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Weightlifting Raise (a weight) from shoulder level to above the head.
      • ‘While it was certainly difficult for him, Chip managed to jerk the bar above his shoulder into the air.’
      • ‘If you have to jerk the weight, it is probably too heavy, which can lead to strain and injury.’
      • ‘Make sure not to swing or jerk the weight, as this is a sure-fire way to pull something.’
      • ‘Harmonically, it's as if a weight lifter jerked 500 pounds and put it down in exactly the same spot.’
      • ‘Never jerk the weight up; control it throughout the movement.’
      yank, tug, pull, wrench, wrest, heave, haul, drag, tweak, twitch, pluck, snatch, seize, rip, tear, whisk
      View synonyms

Phrasal Verbs

  • jerk someone around

    • Deal with someone dishonestly or unfairly.

      • ‘That should encourage you to post more without fearing that blogger is going to jerk you around.’
      • ‘Cut the bull, Mills, I know that you're jerking me around.’
      • ‘We're not jerking them around with the flavor-of-the-month club or something like that.’
      • ‘I think that's more fair to you guys because then I won't be jerking you around.’
      • ‘As long as your friends are true to you, I'd speculate that your boyfriend is jerking you around.’
      • ‘How long are you going to keep jerking us around?’
      • ‘Why do we allow wingnuts to jerk us around like this?’
      • ‘They take advantage of having a tiny bit of power over other people because they totally get off on jerking them around.’
      • ‘He's just going to keep jerking you around if you never stand up to him!’
      • ‘If they jerk you around, get over it - you can always move!’
  • jerk off

    • Masturbate.

Origin

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

Pronunciation

jerk

/jərk/

Main definitions of jerk in English

: jerk1jerk2

jerk2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]usually as adjective jerked
  • Prepare (meat) by marinating it in spices and drying or barbecuing it over a wood fire.

    ‘jerked beef’

noun

  • Jerked meat.

    ‘fiery Jamaican jerk’
    [as modifier] ‘jerk chicken’
    • ‘He said he came there very early and had his jerk chicken.’
    • ‘From fiery jerk dishes to sublimely sweet mangoes, the foods of Jamaica are exciting and comforting.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The basement area will be opened with live music, and the samba and the liming will make this joint hotter than jerk chicken.’
    • ‘They have some pretty good jerk pork and chicken also.’
    • ‘Today it was Jamaican jerk chicken and rice and peas.’
    • ‘If you ask Caucasians what regional foods they know or have tried, jerk meats, peas and rice, patties and ackee and saltfish are sure to be top responses.’
    • ‘Unlike the other meats, jerk sausage is inherently - lethally - hot, but I will not be daunted by my nonexistent tolerance for pepper.’
    • ‘She expected his ‘brothers’ to be at her table for jerk chicken and potatoes any time they were hungry.’
    • ‘And don't worry, there'll most certainly be jerk chicken and ginger beer available if you get hungry.’
    • ‘My favourite thing is the smell of jerk chicken.’
    • ‘Now it has a Caribbean flavour, with jerk chicken and saltfish ousting the baguettes and Camembert.’
    • ‘Salted fish, curried goat, and jerk chicken also are popular.’
    • ‘Legal Aid did some rather large hot dog sausages on the BBQ, and some jerk pork.’
    • ‘Their menu also expanded to include the full range of Caribbean fare, from soup to jerk chicken.’
    • ‘Sprinkle both sides of tuna steaks with jerk seasoning.’
    • ‘We are in search of the rare and magnificent jerk sausage.’
    • ‘There was far more ribbing, bad mouthing and ‘spirit’ shared than planning, along with jerk chicken and pork.’
    • ‘Traditional Cayman cuisine is hugely influenced by Jamaican jerk, curry and other vibrant seasonings.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

jerk

/jərk/