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jack Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a small worthless amount
    diddlyshit; squat; shit; diddly-squat; diddly-shit; diddly; diddley; diddlysquat; doodly-squat.
    • you don't know jack
  2. noun a man who serves as a sailor
    Jack-tar; tar; old salt; sea dog; seaman; gob; seafarer; mariner.
  3. noun someone who works with their hands; someone engaged in manual labor
    labourer; manual laborer; laborer.
  4. noun immense East Indian fruit resembling breadfruit; it contains an edible pulp and nutritious seeds that are commonly roasted
    jackfruit; jak.
  5. noun a small ball at which players aim in lawn bowling
  6. noun an electrical device consisting of a connector socket designed for the insertion of a plug
  7. noun game equipment consisting of one of several small six-pointed metal pieces that are picked up while bouncing a ball in the game of jacks
  8. noun small flag indicating a ship's nationality
  9. noun one of four face cards in a deck bearing a picture of a young prince
  10. noun tool for exerting pressure or lifting
  11. noun any of several fast-swimming predacious fishes of tropical to warm temperate seas
  12. noun male donkey
  13. verb lift with a special device
    jack up.
    • jack up the car so you can change the tire
  14. verb hunt with a jacklight

Jack noun
Pg. jaca, Malayalam, tsjaka.
  1. (Bot.) A large tree, the Artocarpus integrifolia, common in the East Indies, closely allied to the breadfruit, from which it differs in having its leaves entire. The fruit is of great size, weighing from thirty to forty pounds, and through its soft fibrous matter are scattered the seeds, which are roasted and eaten. The wood is of a yellow color, fine grain, and rather heavy, and is much used in cabinetwork. It is also used for dyeing a brilliant yellow. Written also jak.
Jack noun
F. Jacques James, L. Jacobus, Gr. , Heb. Ya 'aqb Jacob; prop., seizing by the heel; hence, a supplanter. Cf. Jacobite, Jockey.
  1. A familiar nickname of, or substitute for, John.
    You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby. Shak.
  2. An impertinent or silly fellow; a simpleton; a boor; a clown; also, a servant; a rustic. "Jack fool." Chaucer.
    Since every Jack became a gentleman, There 's many a gentle person made a Jack. Shak.
  3. A popular colloquial name for a sailor; -- called also Jack tar, and Jack afloat.
  4. A mechanical contrivance, an auxiliary machine, or a subordinate part of a machine, rendering convenient service, and often supplying the place of a boy or attendant who was commonly called Jack; as: (a) A device to pull off boots. (b) A sawhorse or sawbuck. (c) A machine or contrivance for turning a spit; a smoke jack, or kitchen jack. (b) (Mining) A wooden wedge for separating rocks rent by blasting. (e) (Knitting Machine) A lever for depressing the sinkers which push the loops down on the needles. (f) (Warping Machine) A grating to separate and guide the threads; a heck box. (g) (Spinning) A machine for twisting the sliver as it leaves the carding machine. (h) A compact, portable machine for planing metal. (i) A machine for slicking or pebbling leather. (k) A system of gearing driven by a horse power, for multiplying speed. (l) A hood or other device placed over a chimney or vent pipe, to prevent a back draught. (m) In the harpsichord, an intermediate piece communicating the action of the key to the quill; -- called also hopper. (n) In hunting, the pan or frame holding the fuel of the torch used to attract game at night; also, the light itself. C. Hallock.
  5. A portable machine variously constructed, for exerting great pressure, or lifting or moving a heavy body through a small distance. It consists of a lever, screw, rack and pinion, hydraulic press, or any simple combination of mechanical powers, working in a compact pedestal or support and operated by a lever, crank, capstan bar, etc. The name is often given to a jackscrew, which is a kind of jack.
  6. The small bowl used as a mark in the game of bowls. Shak.
    Like an uninstructed bowler who thinks to attain the jack by delivering his bowl straight forward upon it. Sir W. Scott.
  7. The male of certain animals, as of the ass.
  8. (Zoöl.) (a) A young pike; a pickerel. (b) The jurel. (c) A large, California rock fish (Sebastodes paucispinus); -- called also boccaccio, and mérou. (d) The wall-eyed pike.
  9. A drinking measure holding half a pint; also, one holding a quarter of a pint. Prov. Eng. Halliwell.
  10. (Naut.) (a) A flag, containing only the union, without the fly, usually hoisted on a jack staff at the bowsprit cap; -- called also union jack. The American jack is a small blue flag, with a star for each State. (b) A bar of iron athwart ships at a topgallant masthead, to support a royal mast, and give spread to the royal shrouds; -- called also jack crosstree. R. H. Dana, Jr.
  11. The knave of a suit of playing cards.
  12. (pl) same as jackstone (which see): A game played with small (metallic, with tetrahedrally oriented spikes) objects (the jacks(1950+), formerly jackstones) that are tossed, caught, picked up, and arranged on a horizontal surface in various patterns; in the modern American game, the movements are accompanied by tossing or bouncing a rubber ball on the horizontal surface supporting the jacks.
  13. (slang) Money.
  14. a. Apple jack. b. brandy Jack is used adjectively in various senses. It sometimes designates something cut short or diminished in size; as, a jack timber; a jack rafter; a jack arch, etc.
Jack noun
F. jaque, jacque, perh. from the proper name Jacques. Cf. Jacquerie.
  1. A coarse and cheap mediæval coat of defense, esp. one made of leather.
    Their horsemen are with jacks for most part clad. Sir J. Harrington.
Jack noun
Named from its resemblance to a jack boot.
  1. A pitcher or can of waxed leather; -- called also black jack. Obs. Dryden.
Jack intransitive verb
  1. To hunt game at night by means of a jack. See 2d Jack, n., 4, n.
Jack transitive verb
  1. To move or lift, as a house, by means of a jack or jacks. See 2d Jack, n., 5. = jack up

Webster 1913

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