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

  • transitive v. To move or dislodge with a sudden, hard blow; strike heavily or jarringly: jolted his opponent with a heavy punch; an impact that jolted the mailbox loose.
  • transitive v. To cause to move jerkily: stops and starts that jolted the passengers.
  • transitive v. To put into a specified condition by or as if by a blow: "Now and then he jolted a nodding reader awake by inserting a witty paragraph” ( Walter Blair).
  • transitive v. To make suddenly active or effective: The remark jolted my memory.
  • transitive v. To disturb suddenly and severely; stun: She was jolted by the betrayal of her trusted friend.
  • intransitive v. To proceed in an irregular, bumpy, or jerky fashion.
  • n. A sudden jarring or jerking, as from a heavy blow or an abrupt movement. See Synonyms at collision.
  • n. A sudden, strong feeling of surprise or disappointment; a shock.
  • n. The cause of such a feeling: The news came as a jolt.
  • n. A brief strong portion: a jolt of electricity; a jolt of whiskey.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To push or shake abruptly and roughly.
  • v. To knock sharply; to deal a blow to.
  • v. To shock (someone) into taking action or being alert; as, to jolt someone out of complacency
  • v. To shock emotionally.
  • v. To shake; to move with a series of jerks.
  • n. An act of jolting.
  • n. A surprise or shock.
  • n. A long prison sentence.
  • n. A narcotic injection.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sudden shock or jerk; a jolting motion, as in a carriage moving over rough ground.
  • n. A physical or psychological shock; see jolt v. t. senses 2 and 3.
  • n. Something which causes a jolt{2}.
  • intransitive v. To shake with short, abrupt risings and fallings, as a carriage moving on rough ground.
  • transitive v. To cause to move with a sudden motion, especially an up and down motion, as in a carriage going over rough ground, or on a high-trotting horse
  • transitive v. To stun or shock a person physically, as with a blow or electrical shock.
  • transitive v. To stun or shock or change the mental state of (a person) suddenly, as if with a blow.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shake with sudden jerks, as in a carriage on rough ground, or on a high-trotting horse.
  • To move with short, abrupt risings and fallings, as a carriage on rough ground; have a shaking or jerking motion.
  • n. A shock or shake by a sudden jerk, as in a carriage.
  • n. plural Cabbage-plants that in the spring go to seed prematurely.
  • n. Synonyms Collision, Concussion, etc. See shock.

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

  • v. move or cause to move with a sudden jerky motion
  • v. disturb (someone's) composure
  • n. a sudden jarring impact
  • n. an abrupt spasmodic movement


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

Origin unknown.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Maybe from Middle English jollen.


  • He had come to the decision that Ruth needed what he called a jolt to bring her to herself, much as a sleep-walker is aroused by the touch of

    The Coming of Bill

  • Such jobs cannot be created by a short-term jolt of government spending, or by cutting government investments in education, science, technology, and infrastructure.

    Jeffrey Sachs: A New Direction for American Economic Policy

  • Japan may have provided a short-term jolt to uranium prices, but the new generation of nuclear plants slated for the world's fastest growing economies is still intact.

    Chinese Demand Rides to Uranium's Rescue

  • His six-inch jolt is more the real sleep medicine than the full-arm swing of most geezers.

    Chapter I

  • The tax cuts could provide a short-term jolt to the economy, painting a rosier picture of the U.S. recovery, though they are still not a done deal.

    Dollar Gains Strength

  • The latest jolt from the defending Eastern Conference champions came Wednesday night in a 5-3 victory.

  • Temporary but critical assistance giving a short-term jolt for a long-term gain.

    Jeff Schweitzer: The Consequences of Short-Term Thinking: Part II

  • Jason Dickerson, a budget analyst for California's Legislative Analyst's Office, said the postponement of income-tax refunds means local retailers and businesses won't receive the expected annual short-term jolt of cash.

    California to Delay $4 Billion in Payments

  • He's the president for everyone and as Bill said earlier, in terms of how they sold it, I remember the word jolt being used.

    CNN Transcript Dec 13, 2009

  • The investments in technology infrastructure would fit in with Speaker Pelosi's determination that the spending package not only gives the ailing U.S. economy a short-term jolt, but also pays dividends over the longer term, the aide said.

    Stimulus Plan to Include Internet-Access Funds


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  • Almost onomatopoeic.

    December 19, 2007