a quick, sharp pull, thrust, twist, throw, or the like; a sudden movement:
The train started with a jerk.
a spasmodic, usually involuntary, muscular movement, as the reflex action of pulling the hand away from a flame.
any sudden, quick movement of the body, as in dodging something.
Slang. a contemptibly naive, fatuous, foolish, or inconsequential person.
(in weightlifting) the raising of a weight from shoulder height to above the head by straightening the arms.
jerks, British Informal. .
a dance, deriving from the twist, in which the dancers alternately thrust out their pelvises and their shoulders.
the jerks, paroxysms or violent spasmodic muscular movements, as resulting from excitement evoked by some religious services.
verb (used with object)
to pull, twist, move, thrust, or throw with a quick, suddenly arrested motion:
She jerked the child by the hand.
to utter in a broken, spasmodic way.
Informal. to prepare, dispense, and serve (sodas, ice cream, etc.) at a soda fountain.
verb (used without object)
to give a jerk or jerks.
to move with a quick, sharp motion; move spasmodically.
to talk in a broken, spasmodic way.
Informal. to work as a .
to dance the jerk.
jerk off, Slang: Vulgar. to masturbate.
verb (used with object)
to preserve (meat, especially beef) by cutting in strips and curing by drying in the sun.
being or containing a spicy seasoning mixture flavored with allspice, used especially in Jamaican cooking:
prepared with jerk flavorings, especially by barbecuing or grilling:
plural noun, British.
physical conditioning exercises, as push-ups and knee bends.
to move or cause to move with an irregular or spasmodic motion
to throw, twist, pull, or push (something) abruptly or spasmodically
(transitive) often foll by out. to utter (words, sounds, etc) in a spasmodic, abrupt, or breathless manner
an abrupt or spasmodic movement
an irregular jolting motion: the car moved with a jerk
(pl) (Brit, informal) Also called physical jerks. physical exercises
(pl) (US) a slang word for chorea
(slang, mainly US & Canadian) a person regarded with contempt, esp a stupid or ignorant person
to preserve (venison, beef, etc) by cutting into thin strips and curing by drying in the sun
Also called jerky. jerked meat, esp beef
(Brit, informal) See jerk1 (sense 6)
“to pull,” 1540s, “to lash, strike as with a whip,” of uncertain origin, perhaps echoic. Related: Jerked; jerking.
as a method of preserving meat, 1707, American English, from American Spanish carquear, from charqui (see jerky). Related: Jerked.
1550s, “stroke of a whip,” from jerk (v.1). Sense of “sudden sharp pull or twist” first recorded 1570s. Meaning “involuntary spasmodic movement of limbs or features” first recorded 1805. As the name of a popular dance, it is attested from 1966. Sense in soda jerk attested from 1883, from the pulling motion required to work the taps.
“tedious and ineffectual person,” 1935 (the lyric in “Big Rock Candy Mountain” apparently is “Where they hung the Turk [not jerk] that invented work”), American English carnival slang, of uncertain origin. Perhaps from jerkwater town (1878), where a steam locomotive crew had to take on boiler water from a trough or a creek because there was no water tank [Barnhart, OED]. This led 1890s to an adjectival use of jerk as “inferior, insignificant.” Alternatively, or influenced by, verbal phrase jerk off “masturbate” [Rawson].
jerk 1 (jûrk)
v. jerked, jerk·ing, jerks
To make spasmodic motions. n.
: a couple of jerk wops
jerk off (1940s+)
circle jerk, knee-jerk, pull someone’s chain
[the derogatory term comes fr jerk off, ”masturbate”; the form soda jerker is found by 1883]
- Jerk around
verb phrase To idle about; play casually; fool around: if kids are jerking around and enter a system as a lark with no intent to deprive (1980s+) Take unfair advantage of, manipulate or deceive, as in Leave me alone; quit jerking me around! or He was jerking you around when he said he was home […]
[jurk] /dʒɜrk/ noun 1. a quick, sharp pull, thrust, twist, throw, or the like; a sudden movement: The train started with a jerk. 2. a spasmodic, usually involuntary, muscular movement, as the reflex action of pulling the hand away from a flame. 3. any sudden, quick movement of the body, as in dodging something. 4. […]
[jurk] /dʒɜrk/ verb (used with object) 1. to preserve (meat, especially beef) by cutting in strips and curing by drying in the sun. adjective 2. being or containing a spicy seasoning mixture flavored with allspice, used especially in Jamaican cooking: jerk sauce. 3. prepared with jerk flavorings, especially by barbecuing or grilling: jerk chicken. noun […]
[jur-kee] /ˈdʒɜr ki/ adjective, jerkier, jerkiest. 1. characterized by or sudden starts; spasmodic. 2. Slang. silly; foolish; stupid; ridiculous. /ˈdʒɜːkɪ/ adjective jerkier, jerkiest 1. characterized by jerks; spasmodic /ˈdʒɜːkɪ/ noun 1. another word for jerk2 (sense 2) n. 1850, American English, from American Spanish charqui “jerked meat,” from Quechua (Inca) ch’arki “dried flesh.” adj. “characterized […]