from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Informal A man; a fellow.
  • n. One who does odd or heavy jobs; a laborer.
  • n. One who works in a specified manual trade. Often used in combination: a lumberjack; a steeplejack.
  • n. A sailor; a tar.
  • n. Games A playing card showing the figure of a servant or soldier and ranking below a queen. Also called knave.
  • n. Games A game played with a set of small six-pointed metal pieces and a small ball, the object being to pick up the pieces in various combinations.
  • n. Games One of the metal pieces so used.
  • n. Sports A pin used in some games of bowling.
  • n. A usually portable device for raising heavy objects by means of force applied with a lever, screw, or hydraulic press.
  • n. A wooden wedge for cleaving rock.
  • n. A device used for turning a spit.
  • n. Nautical A support or brace, especially the iron crosstree on a topgallant masthead.
  • n. Nautical A small flag flown at the bow of a ship, usually to indicate nationality.
  • n. The male of certain animals, especially the ass.
  • n. Any of several food and game fishes of the family Carangidae, found in tropical and temperate seas.
  • n. A jackrabbit.
  • n. A socket that accepts a plug at one end and attaches to electric circuitry at the other.
  • n. Slang Money.
  • n. Applejack.
  • n. Slang A small or worthless amount: You don't know jack about that.
  • transitive v. To hunt or fish for with a jacklight: hunters illegally jacking deer.
  • transitive v. To move or hoist by or as if by using a jack: jacked the rear of the car to replace the tire.
  • transitive v. To raise (something) to a higher level, as in cost: "Foreign producers jacked up the price on some steels by over 100%” ( Forbes).
  • transitive v. Baseball To hit (a pitched ball) hard, especially for a home run.
  • intransitive v. To hunt or fish for quarry by using a jacklight.
  • jack off Vulgar Slang To masturbate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mechanical device used to raise and (temporarily) support a heavy object.
  • n. A man or men in general.
  • n. A male animal.
  • n. The card ranking between the ten and queen of any suit, picturing a knave or prince on its face. In some card games has a value of eleven based on its rank, but in many card games has a value of ten like the ten, queen, and king cards. Also called a knave.
  • n. A knave (a servant or later, a deceitful man).
  • n. A male ass.
  • n. A surface-mounted connector for electrical, especially telecommunications, equipment.
  • n. A target ball in bowls, etc; a jack-ball.
  • n. A small, six-pointed playing piece used in the game of jacks.
  • n. Nothing, jackshit.
  • n. A small flag at the bow of a ship.
  • n. A naval ensign flag flown from the main mast, mizzen mast, or the aft-most major mast of (especially) British sailing warships; Union Jack.
  • n. A coarse and cheap medieval coat of defense, especially one made of leather.
  • n. A penny with a head on both sides, used for cheating. (Reference: Sidney J. Baker, The Australian Language, second edition, 1966, chapter XI section 3, page 243.)
  • n. Money.
  • n. A smooth often ovoid large gravel or small cobble in a natural water course.
  • n. A common name for the freshwater pike, green pike or pickerel.
  • n. Large California rockfish.
  • n. An order of marine fish in the Carangidae family.
  • n. A sailor; a "jack tar".
  • v. To use a jack.
  • v. To raise or increase.
  • v. To steal something, typically an automobile. Contraction of carjacking
  • v. To hit (the ball) hard; especially, to hit (the ball) out of the field, producing a home run.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. A familiar nickname of, or substitute for, John.
  • n. An impertinent or silly fellow; a simpleton; a boor; a clown; also, a servant; a rustic.
  • n. A popular colloquial name for a sailor; -- called also Jack tar, and Jack afloat.
  • n. 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
  • n. A device to pull off boots.
  • n. A sawhorse or sawbuck.
  • n. A machine or contrivance for turning a spit; a smoke jack, or kitchen jack.
  • n. A wooden wedge for separating rocks rent by blasting.
  • n. A lever for depressing the sinkers which push the loops down on the needles.
  • n. A grating to separate and guide the threads; a heck box.
  • n. A machine for twisting the sliver as it leaves the carding machine.
  • n. A compact, portable machine for planing metal.
  • n. A machine for slicking or pebbling leather.
  • n. A system of gearing driven by a horse power, for multiplying speed.
  • n. A hood or other device placed over a chimney or vent pipe, to prevent a back draught.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A portable machine variously constructed, for exerting great pressure, or lifting or moving a heavy body such as an automobile 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.
  • n. The small bowl used as a mark in the game of bowls.
  • n. The male of certain animals, as of the ass.
  • n.
  • n. A young pike; a pickerel.
  • n. The jurel.
  • n. A large, California rock fish (Sebastodes paucispinus); -- called also boccaccio, and mérou.
  • n. The wall-eyed pike.
  • n. A drinking measure holding half a pint; also, one holding a quarter of a pint.
  • n.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. The knave of a suit of playing cards.
  • n. 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. same as jackstones.
  • n. Money.
  • n. Apple jack.
  • n. Brandy.
  • n. A coarse and cheap mediæval coat of defense, esp. one made of leather.
  • n. A pitcher or can of waxed leather; -- called also black jack.
  • intransitive v. To hunt game at night by means of a jack. See 2d jack, n., 4, n.
  • transitive v. To move or lift, as a house, by means of a jack or jacks. See 2d jack, n., 5.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To operate on with a jack; lift with a jack.
  • To hunt with a jack. See jack, n., 11 .
  • To use a jack in hunting or fishing; seek or find game by means of a jack.
  • In leather manufacturing, to roll by means of a roller attached to an arm.
  • n. [capitalized] An abbreviation or diminutive of the name Jacob, now regarded as a nickname or diminutive of the name John.
  • n. A young man; a fellow: used with jill, a young woman, both being commonly treated as proper names.
  • n. [cap, or lowercase] A saucy or impertinent fellow; an upstart; a coxcomb; a jackanapes; a sham gentleman: as, jack lord, jack gentleman, jack meddler, and similar combinations.
  • n. [capitalized] A familiar term of address used among sailors, soldiers, laborers, etc.; hence, in popular use (commonly Jack Tar), a sailor.
  • n. Same as jack in the water (which see, below).
  • n. [lowercase or cap.] A figure which strikes the bell in clocks: also called jack of the clock or clock-house: as, the two jacks of St. Dunstan's.
  • n. Any one of the knaves in a pack of playing-cards.
  • n. The male of certain animals; specifically, a male ass; especially, an ass kept for getting mules from mares; a jackass.
  • n. A name of several different fishes.
  • n. A percoid fish, Stizostedium vitreum, the pike-perch.
  • n. A scorpænoid fish. Sebastichthys or Sebastodes paucispinis, better known as boccaccio.
  • n. One of several caran-goid fishes, especially Caranx pisquetos, also called buffalo-jack, hickory-jack, and jack-fish; also, Seriola carolinensis.
  • n. The pampano, Trachynotus carolinus.
  • n. The jackdaw, Corvus monedula.
  • n. The jack-curlew, Numenius hudsonius.
  • n. A kind of pigeon; a jacobin.
  • n. One of various convenient implements or mechanical contrivances obviating the need of an assistant: used alone or compounded with some other word designating the special purpose of the implement or some other distinguishing circumstance: as, a pegging-jack; a shackle-jack, or thill-jack.
  • n. A rock-lever or oscillating lever. Such levers are used in stocking-frames, in knitting-machines, and in other machinery. Their function is the actuation of other moving parts to produce specific results at proper periods.
  • n. In spinning, a bobbin and frame operating on the sliver from the carding-machine and passing the product to the roving-machine.
  • n. In weaving, same as heck-box.
  • n. In the harpsichord, clavichord, pianoforte, and similar instruments, an upright piece of wood at the inner or rear end of each key or digital, designed to bring the motion of the latter to bear upon the string. In the harpsichord and spinet the jack carries a quill or spine by which the string is twanged; in the clavichord it terminates in a metal tangent by which the string is pressed; and in the pianoforte it merely transmits the motion of the key to the hammer.
  • n. A wooden frame on which wood is sawed; a sawbuck or sawhorse.
  • n. In mining: A wooden wedge used to split rocks after blasting; a gad. A kind of water-engine, turned by hand, for use in mines.
  • n. A portable cresset or fire-pan used for hunting or fishing at night. Also called jack-lamp, jack lantern, jack-light
  • n. A tin case in which the safety-lamp is carried by coalminers in places where the current of air is very strong.
  • n. In telegraphy and teleph, a terminal consisting of a spring-clip, by means of which instruments can be expeditiously introduced into the circuit. In telephones such terminals are sometimes used at exchanges for allowing the lines of different subscribers to be quickly connected. The connection is made by means of a wire cord on the ends of which are metallic wedges covered on one side with insulating material. These wedges, called jack-knives or simply jacks, are inserted into the terminals of the lines to be connected. Also called spring-jack.
  • n. A pitcher, formerly of waxed leather, afterward of tin or other metal; a black-jack.
  • n. A half-pint; also, a quarter of a pint.
  • n. In the game of bowls, an odd bowl thrown out for a mark to the players.
  • n. A flag showing the union only: used by those nations whose national standard contains a union, as Great Britain and the United States.
  • n. A horizontal bar or crosstree of iron at the topgallantmast-head, to spread the royal-shrouds. Also called jack-crosstree.
  • n. A kind of schooner-rigged vessel of from 10 to 25 tons, used in the Newfoundland fisheries.
  • n. [capitalized] A Jacobite. [Cant.] In the quotation it is used with a punning reference to the flag. See def. 15.
  • n. A farthing.
  • n. A card-counter.
  • n. A seal. Also jark, [Old slang.]
  • n. The hickory-shad, Pomolobus mediocris.
  • n. [It is sometimes explained as the fish called sole, and sometimes as a dish warmed up a second time.]
  • n. A coat of fence of cheap make worn by foot-soldiers, yeomen, and the like.
  • n. Same as jack-tree.
  • n. The fruit of the jack-tree: same as jackfruit.See jack-tree.
  • n. A Jacqueminot rose. Also Jacque.
  • n.
  • n.
  • n. Same as black-jack. 3.
  • n. The jonquil, Narcissus jonquilla.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of several fast-swimming predacious fishes of tropical to warm temperate seas
  • v. hunt with a jacklight
  • v. lift with a special device
  • n. a man who serves as a sailor
  • n. an electrical device consisting of a connector socket designed for the insertion of a plug
  • n. a small worthless amount
  • n. tool for exerting pressure or lifting
  • n. someone who works with their hands; someone engaged in manual labor
  • n. small flag indicating a ship's nationality
  • n. immense East Indian fruit resembling breadfruit; it contains an edible pulp and nutritious seeds that are commonly roasted
  • n. one of four face cards in a deck bearing a picture of a young prince
  • n. male donkey
  • n. 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
  • n. a small ball at which players aim in lawn bowling


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From the name Jack, from Middle English Jakke, possibly from Old French Jacques, from Late Latin Iacōbus; see Jacob. N., sense 15, short for jack shit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English jakke ("any mechanical device"), from the name Jack, from Old French Jacques

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology.


  • The portions of the operator's talking circuit that are located permanently in the switchboard cabinet are in such cases terminated in a jack, called an operator's _cut-in jack_.

    Cyclopedia of Telephony & Telegraphy Vol. 1 A General Reference Work on Telephony, etc. etc.

  • Bellinger recommends choosing one topic to focus on -- "the expression 'jack of all trades, master of none' holds true especially in the Web 2.0 world" -- and working on engaging with the top people in that area rather than trying to tackle all the world's problems at once.

    Lauren Zumbach: The New Twitter Revolution

  • "You cannot become an expert if one day you work in maternity, the other day you work in the long-term care, and then you are in emergency room," she said, referencing the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none."

    The Full Feed from

  • And so she proved, in small things at first, as translator, courier, embassy bricoleur - what you call jack-of-all-trades - and later as secret agent in the field ... and you know what that means.


  • You would think that since the jack is the same the requirements are the same.

    Apple question « BuzzMachine

  • I felt sure it wasn't any sort of craft, but I had heard of strange lights being seen at times on the water -- what they call jack-o'-lanterns, I believe, sir.

    A Master of Mysteries

  • I dont think it would be too much of a strech to say john had just bumped into jack befor he pulled the gun on jack! as in jack from the future had gone back and told john to stop him, only thing was is that john really dont wanna kill jack cause the would mess him meeting jack up so he’s just gotta hope jack stops!

    The Tail Section » Lost Finale Analysis - The Journal

  • BSG captain jack cloverfield comic book dc dr who dune fantasy g4tv godzilla graphic novel halloween heroes horror hulu

    Monster Scifi Show Podcast Episode 19 02/27/2010 « Monster Scifi Show Blog

  • It's almost like the jack is shorting something out.

    Discussions: Message List - root

  • There seemed no reason for Whitey's staying any longer, and Chet again went to the stable, and returned leading what is called a jack, "jack" being short for "jackass."

    Injun and Whitey to the Rescue


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  • Seems there ought to be myriad etymologies.

    December 6, 2015

  • the jack of all trades then, right?... arise arose is a rose (arosen..arisen)?

    November 17, 2011

  • Out of 131 nominal meanings, CD puts 'A Jacqueminot rose' at number 1.

    November 17, 2011

  • Good God, are you *trying* to stalk me?

    May 25, 2009

  • Jack? I liked a dude named Jake. He was sexy. I'm sad we had to leave. I still have the ping-pong ball he gave me. He had a friend named Trever, he was cute,but he was older than me and he didn't interested.

    May 23, 2009

  • Citation (in the sense of a sailor) on nice.

    September 9, 2008

  • Don't forget Hit The Road, Jack, by Ray Charles...

    February 9, 2008

  • "Jack's Heroes" by the Pogues, but there must be a million songs with this name in the title... "Jack and Diane" by John Mellencamp, "Jack Hinks" by Great Big Sea, "Jack the Green" by Tanglefoot, "Jumpin' Jack Flash"...

    "New Tatter Jack" is a pretty common fife tune.

    "Jackie Wilson Said" by Van Morrison, though to be fair that should be listed under "Jackie"...

    February 9, 2008