verb (used with or without object), jabbed, jab·bing.

  1. to poke, or thrust abruptly or sharply, as with the end or point of a stick.
  2. to punch, especially with a short, quick blow.


  1. a poke with the end or point of something; a sharp, quick thrust.
  2. a short, quick punch.

verb jabs, jabbing or jabbed

  1. to poke or thrust sharply
  2. to strike with a quick short blow or blows


  1. a sharp poke or stab
  2. a quick short blow, esp (in boxing) a straight punch with the leading hand
  3. informal an injectionpolio jabs

1825, “to thrust with a point,” Scottish variant of job “to strike, pierce, thrust,” from Middle English jobben “to jab, thrust, peck” (late 15c.), of unknown origin, perhaps echoic. Related: Jabbed; jabbing.


1825, from jab (v.). Meaning “a punch with the fist” is from 1889. Sense of “injection with a hypodermic needle,” beloved by headline writers, is from 1914.

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