jump the shark

shark

1 [shahrk]
noun
1.
any of a group of elongate elasmobranch, mostly marine fishes, certain species of which are large, voracious, and sometimes dangerous to humans.
Idioms
2.
jump the shark, Informal. to begin a decline in quality, popularity, relevance, etc., after reaching a peak: Some TV shows have jumped the shark once a popular cast member left the show.

Origin:
1560–70; origin uncertain

sharklike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
shark1 (ʃɑːk)
 
n
any of various usually ferocious selachian fishes, typically marine with a long body, two dorsal fins, rows of sharp teeth, and between five and seven gill slits on each side of the head
 
[C16: of uncertain origin]
 
'sharklike1
 
adj

shark2 (ʃɑːk)
 
n
1.  a person who preys on or victimizes others, esp by swindling or extortion
 
vb
2.  archaic to obtain (something) by cheating or deception
 
[C18: probably from German Schurke rogue; perhaps also influenced by shark1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  jump the shark
Part of Speech:  n phr
Definition:  the point at which a popular television show has gone past its peak and has resorted to stunt programming, after which it is eventually is canceled
Example:  When did Frasier jump the shark?
Etymology:  refers to episode on Happy Days after which this occurred
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

shark
1569, of uncertain origin; apparently the word and the first specimen were brought to London by Capt. John Hawkins's second expedition (landed 1565; see Hakluyt).
"There is no proper name for it that I knowe, but that sertayne men of Captayne Haukinses doth call it a 'sharke' " [handbill advertising an exhibition of the specimen, 1569]
The meaning "dishonest person who preys on others," though only attested from 1599 (sharker in this sense is from 1594), may be the original sense, later applied to the large, voracious marine fish. It is possibly from Ger. Schorck, a variant of Schurke "scoundrel, villain," agent noun of M.H.G. schürgen (Ger. schüren) "to poke, stir." The Eng. word was applied to voracious or predatory persons, on the image of the fish, from 1707 (originally of pick-pockets); loan shark is attested from 1905. Sharkskin was used for binding books, etc. As the name of a type of fabric held to resemble it, it is recorded from 1932.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

shark definition


  1. n.
    a swindler; a confidence operator. (Underworld.) : The sharks were lined up ten deep to get at the blue-eyed new owner of the bowling alley.
  2. n.
    a lawyer. (Derogatory.) : Some shark is trying to squeeze a few grand out of me.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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