9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[jab] /dʒæb/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), jabbed, jabbing.
to poke, or thrust abruptly or sharply, as with the end or point of a stick.
to punch, especially with a short, quick blow.
a poke with the end or point of something; a sharp, quick thrust.
a short, quick punch.
Origin of jab
1815-25; variant, orig. Scots, of job2
Related forms
jabbingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for jabbed
  • Local and state officials jabbed fingers right back.
  • Occasionally he jumps out of his seat as if someone invisible had come up from behind and jabbed him.
  • Chimpanzees forcibly jabbed tools into hollow trunks or branches multiple times and smelled and/or licked them upon extraction.
  • Ginny's angry face seemed to scrunch up into a single point that jabbed at the fragile bubble of my lie.
  • He then turned the tables and jabbed the mosquitoes, inserting tiny electrodes into their sensors.
  • The eels hung back, waited till the coast was clear, and then furtively jabbed at their shrimp.
  • Rock has frequently jabbed at politicians of both parties in his stand-up routines.
  • In an instant, a doctor jabbed into her abdomen a thick needle attached to a syringe and pushed in a few cubic inches of air.
  • Finally, its head jabbed forward into the shallow water, making a small splash.
  • Some jabbed spikes holding lamps or candles into shoring timbers.
British Dictionary definitions for jabbed


verb jabs, jabbing, jabbed
to poke or thrust sharply
to strike with a quick short blow or blows
a sharp poke or stab
a quick short blow, esp (in boxing) a straight punch with the leading hand
(informal) an injection: polio jabs
Derived Forms
jabbing, adjective
jabbingly, adverb
Word Origin
C19: originally Scottish variant of job
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for jabbed



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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