Definition of jolt in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Push or shake (someone or something) abruptly and roughly.

    ‘a surge in the crowd behind him jolted him forward’
    • ‘A striking pain jolted her as the shock moved over to pain in her leg.’
    • ‘He reached for the doorknob, but was suddenly jolted with a shock of electricity.’
    • ‘The impact of the vehicle has jolted the whole house and the brickwork has moved by about 2cm, making it impossible to open a door in the kitchen.’
    • ‘Mehna was jolted hard, as if she'd been electrocuted, and she felt herself dislodge from the tranquilizer.’
    • ‘He obviously hadn't meant to jolt me that much, because his eyes lit in surprise, too, as he made every effort to catch me in return.’
    • ‘You could see the agony of it jolt his whole body and knock the last remnant of strength from his legs.’
    • ‘If it detects an abnormally rapid heartbeat, it sends an electrical surge to a defibrillator coil and jolts the heart back into a normal rhythm.’
    • ‘I noticed the wedding presents still on the sofa so I took them upstairs, then on the way back down I slipped on the last step and jolted my back.’
    • ‘Dakota was moving onto his second leaf when he was jolted roughly aside.’
    • ‘Damien stumbled back a few paces, caught by surprise and jolted by the force of the blow.’
    • ‘Renae jolted her leg forward at him, kicking Trent's legs crossed on the floor.’
    • ‘A man was found dead beneath a landslide that followed a number of powerful aftershocks that jolted the island on Wednesday morning.’
    • ‘The blast jolted the tower, killing six people and causing millions of dollars of damage.’
    • ‘If it detects a life-threatening arrhythmia, on the other hand, it jolts the heart in an attempt to restore normal rhythm.’
    • ‘There was little damage but within 28 hours the city was jolted by 19 tremors.’
    • ‘Bending down he took her hand gently, which caused an immediate shock of electricity that jolted her for a moment.’
    • ‘The main quake and subsequent 20 aftershocks jolted major cities of Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.’
    • ‘They said that crew members told them the idea was to hit the tarmac with the gear on the left side to jolt the right gear loose.’
    • ‘Phoenix planted his foot on the accelerator jolting the vehicle forward.’
    • ‘Ian twisted his body sideways and banged his hip into the frame of the chair, jolting the rear wheels over the edge of the curb.’
    push, thrust
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    1. 1.1 Give a surprise or shock to (someone) in order to make them act or change.
      ‘she tried to jolt him out of his depression’
      • ‘I was jolted out of my thoughts by something rather surprising.’
      • ‘I savour the rush of caffeine as it jolts my brain into a state of alertness.’
      • ‘A collision inevitably resulted, abruptly jolting both men back to reality.’
      • ‘The sort of shock we are in now could jolt us out of our determination to squander every human and natural resource in the pursuit of money and power for some, poverty for most.’
      • ‘The pangs of hunger afflicting the countryside has jolted the nation into realisation that food security ought to start at a household level.’
      • ‘A knock jolted all three of them out of their thoughts.’
      • ‘Through this work, he hopes to create a sort of electric shock that will jolt the audience into seeing what hides behind the image.’
      • ‘Kasna gave her a gentle shake, jolting her mind from its incoherent tangles of thought.’
      • ‘A faint scream from the corpse jolted the men from their shock.’
      • ‘The genocide has also jolted the world into reconsidering how to prosecute mass killers.’
      • ‘This latest atrocity has sent a fresh shock wave to jolt us out of our complacency.’
      • ‘The agreements have claimed dozens of lives - many of them young people in their teens and 20s - and jolted the Japanese authorities into action.’
      • ‘It is appealing in the way that independent thinking still has the power to appeal to us with the unexpected shock of the cold water that jolts us out of a sluggish morning.’
      startle, surprise, shock, stun, shake, take aback
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    2. 1.2no object, with adverbial Move with sudden lurches.
      ‘the train jolted into motion’
      • ‘The sudden vibration of her phone caused her to jolt, earning an odd stare from the boy sitting next to her.’
      • ‘He slapped the horses and the wagon jolted into motion.’
      • ‘Finally, the train jolted to a halt and the doors opened.’
      • ‘I thanked her with my eyes and slowly drifted off to sleep as the car jolted into motion.’
      • ‘Suddenly the train jolted to a stop and a bunch of armed men entered, forcing us off the train.’
      • ‘The cab jolted to a violent stop and Rock sprang excitedly into the street.’
      • ‘The ship suddenly jolted and an explosion occurred afterwards.’
      • ‘The bones in his arm jolted violently, causing him to retract, clutching it in pain.’
      • ‘Vincent jolted backwards; the electricity hit him too.’
      • ‘After a few minutes the wagon jolted and moved on the track and then there was a sudden thud that almost made Bligh cry out in fright.’
      • ‘The three walked silently on for a few steps, when Dawn jolted suddenly.’
      • ‘Suddenly, the bus jolted to a halt and his head crashed into the seat in front of him.’
      • ‘She also expressed concerns about the safety of people standing up, especially disabled people and pregnant women, if the train suddenly jolted.’
      • ‘I usually try to read on the trip home, but the way the train jolts around, you usually get thrown into people because there's nothing to hold onto.’
      • ‘Tristyn screamed and jolted upward and moved her legs in a quick manner in an attempt to escape as quickly as possible.’
      • ‘He was about to sit down when he suddenly jolted up.’
      • ‘The train jolts suddenly, stopping at a signal.’
      • ‘All of a sudden, the ship jolted from sided to side as if a wave had tried to push it over.’
      • ‘Suddenly their car jolted and there was a very bright light outside.’
      • ‘After the pond flashed by, Carlile stared out the window until the train jolted and huffed into the station.’
      bump, bounce, jerk, rattle, lurch, shudder, vibrate
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  • 1An abrupt rough or violent movement.

    • ‘Nothing happened for a bit, and I thought he'd said it just to keep us quiet, but then there was a sudden jolt and we jumped to the left a bit.’
    • ‘She hits downward, a jolt searing through my shoulder blade, I sag visibly.’
    • ‘During the first week, I was unable brush my teeth, shave, or feed myself with my right hand, and the slightest wrong movement could send jolts of blinding pain through my body.’
    • ‘I winced from the abrupt jolt, but he said nothing about it.’
    • ‘Solicitor Susan Stephenson was working on some papers when there was a violent jolt and she realised the carriage was going over.’
    • ‘Any movement shot jolts of electricity to my toes, curling them in pain.’
    • ‘A sharp jolt shook Missy's plane as a missile exploded against the back part of her shield.’
    • ‘The little flickers of static electricity were turning into small jolts.’
    • ‘I almost let go after a violent jolt sent my legs flying.’
    • ‘‘Trigger’ is an electronic horse who tests his riders' skills with jumps and jolts similar to those of a real horse.’
    • ‘Every step was a jolt of pain through her body, but she couldn't let Luz know this.’
    • ‘The front and rear suspensions feature dual-leaf springs instead of coils, taking the bumps and jolts out of gravel roads and unforeseen mounds.’
    • ‘A massive jolt of turbulence shook the plane, and there were a few audible gasps.’
    • ‘Darin thumps into the chair, wincing as the impact sends a jolt of pain up his spine.’
    • ‘And one day, five years later, while I was wiping his arm as always, I felt a jolt of movement in his arm.’
    • ‘He landed on the stone tiles with an audible thump, and a nasty jolt of fresh pain jumped up his spine.’
    • ‘All of a sudden there was a sudden jolt and then the plane began to rock furiously.’
    • ‘The amniotic fluid and membrane cushion the fetus against bumps and jolts to the mother's body.’
    • ‘Suddenly, there was a jolt which made Lazarus jump.’
    • ‘Suddenly the room started shaking, then, with a violent jolt, it stopped.’
    bump, bounce, shake, jerk, lurch, vibration
    start, jerk, jump, abrupt movement, convulsive movement
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    1. 1.1 A surprise or shock, especially of an unpleasant kind and often manifested physically.
      ‘that information gave her a severe jolt’
      • ‘When he was born, when I saw him for the first time, the ecstasy that I felt was piercing, electric, transfiguring, a jolt of joy.’
      • ‘With a jolt of surprise, she realized that this had all been planned.’
      • ‘I got an unpleasant jolt when I realized that it was identical to the one Morgan always wore.’
      • ‘Almost immediately, he felt a jolt of apprehension and anger rush through him.’
      • ‘The woman moved to stand next to him, and Lexa felt a jolt of surprise as she recognized the weapon in the man's hand.’
      • ‘She soon realized what he was doing with a violent jolt.’
      • ‘But I was surprised to realise, courtesy of a little jolt of panic, that I can't really remember what to do to keep a kid amused.’
      • ‘He anticipates a degree of culture shock and sees such a jolt as an opportunity for exchange of ideas.’
      • ‘He grinned and picked me up, sending a jolt of surprise through me and making me let out an involuntary shriek of laughter.’
      • ‘Middleton says she felt a strong jolt of maternal love when she looked at the first picture of her ultrasound scan.’
      • ‘He returned, once again sitting beside me, his hand fell on mine causing a jolt to shock my stomach.’
      • ‘It sent a jolt of happiness through me and filled me with a love for life.’
      • ‘He suddenly gave a jolt of surprise when he spotted her.’
      • ‘Kathryn felt a momentary jolt of awe and happiness, but it was soon overwhelmed by spite and hatred for this woman, uttering such lies, such falsehood.’
      • ‘Then, suddenly, a jolt of shock went coursing through her as she glanced beyond the double doors, toward the gates of the school.’
      • ‘Dazed by pain and fear, I suddenly felt a jolt of anger - no, fury - in my stomach.’
      • ‘Gerald's manner is low-key, so when he reacts with a jolt of emotion, it registers.’
      • ‘The rising rage in Beth's voice sends a jolt of alarm through Chelsea.’
      • ‘Seeing Nora's advanced pregnancy gives Maxine her own jolt of shock.’
      • ‘Feeling a jolt of surprise in my stomach, I look hesitantly back.’
      fright, the fright of one's life, shock, scare
      shock, surprise, bombshell, bolt from the blue, thunderbolt, rude awakening, eye-opener
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Late 16th century: of unknown origin.