jerk 1 (jûrk)
v. jerked, jerk·ing, jerks
1. To give a sudden quick thrust, push, pull, or twist to.
2. To throw or toss with a quick abrupt motion.
3. To utter abruptly or sharply: jerked out the answer.
4. To make and serve (ice-cream sodas, for example) at a soda fountain.
5. Sports To press (a weight) overhead from shoulder height in a quick motion.
1. To move in sudden abrupt motions; jolt: The train jerked forward.
2. To make spasmodic motions: My legs jerked from fatigue.
1. A sudden abrupt motion, such as a yank or twist.
2. A jolting or lurching motion.
3. Physiology A sudden reflexive or spasmodic muscular movement.
4. jerks Involuntary convulsive twitching often resulting from excitement. Often used with the.
5. Slang A foolish, rude, or contemptible person.
6. Sports A lift in which the weight is heaved overhead from shoulder height with a quick motion.
jerk off Vulgar Slang
To take unfair advantage of, deceive, or manipulate.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.