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jumping jack

a toy consisting of a jointed figure that is made to jump, move, or dance by pulling a string or stick attached to it.
Also called side-straddle hop [sahyd-strad-l] /ˈsaɪdˈstræd l/ (Show IPA). a conditioning exercise performed by starting from a standing position with legs together and arms resting at the sides and then jumping to a position with the legs spread apart and out to the sides while simultaneously extending the arms out from the sides to an overhead position with the hands touching and finishing by reversing these movements to return to the starting position.
Origin of jumping jack
1860-65, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for jumping-jack
Historical Examples
  • But, oh, if only the Doctor would insist a little on the jumping-jack!

    A Melody in Silver Keene Abbott
  • Well, Felicia, stop that jumping-jack business and I'll begin.

    The Plow-Woman Eleanor Gates
  • "Oil nearly out, sir," were the words that brought Roque to his feet like a jumping-jack.

  • Before Bilby could reply or anybody else could speak, Copley came to his feet with all the suddenness of a jumping-jack.

  • Moving like a jumping-jack, Dans right hand reached for the lever of the engine-room telegraph.

  • In order that he may consciously play with his jumping-jack, he imagines it a living person.

  • He likes his jumping-jack, his worsted Sambo, often a genuine rag-doll; but he is discouraged and ridiculed in this.

  • At last we saw it was a stiff-jointed quadruped with some sort of jumping-jack on top, bouncing up and down at every step.

    Land of the Burnt Thigh Edith Eudora Kohl
  • One person of whom the very thought disgusted the two friends was that jumping-jack of an Arthur Papillon.

  • Sheila had found toys for her—a ball, a doll, a jumping-jack—and tried to coax her to play.

    Leerie Ruth Sawyer
British Dictionary definitions for jumping-jack

jumping jack

a firework having a long narrow tube filled with gunpowder, folded like an accordion so that when lit it burns with small explosions causing it to jump along the ground
a toy figure of a man with jointed limbs that can be moved by pulling attached strings
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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