jerk

A jerk is a sharp, sudden movement. When you're learning to drive a stick shift, it’s hard to avoid the jerk and lurch when you try to change gears. Jerk is also a very unflattering term for an obnoxious person.

Although you will most commonly hear the derogatory jerk as in "Don't be such a jerk," there are many other meanings of the word. ""Clean and jerk" is an Olympic weightlifting event where you lift a barbell in one "clean" movement, then, in one quick thrust — the jerk — you lift the weight above your head. Jerk can also mean making a sharp, sudden move — like a dog jerks on his chain. You may have eaten jerk, also called jerky — strips of dried meat — handy for lunchboxes and camping.

Definitions of jerk
  1. noun
    a sudden abrupt pull
    synonyms: tug
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    type of:
    pull, pulling
    the act of pulling; applying force to move something toward or with you
  2. noun
    an abrupt spasmodic movement
    synonyms: jerking, jolt, saccade
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    type of:
    motility, motion, move, movement
    a change of position that does not entail a change of location
  3. noun
    raising a weight from shoulder height to above the head by straightening the arms
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    type of:
    weightlift, weightlifting
    bodybuilding by exercise that involves lifting weights
  4. noun
    (mechanics) the rate of change of acceleration
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    type of:
    rate
    a magnitude or frequency relative to a time unit
  5. verb
    move with abrupt, seemingly uncontrolled motions
    synonyms: twitch
    twitch
    make an uncontrolled, short, jerky motion
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    type of:
    move
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  6. verb
    make an uncontrolled, short, jerky motion
    synonyms: twitch
    twitch
    move with abrupt, seemingly uncontrolled motions
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    types:
    fibrillate
    make fine, irregular, rapid twitching movements
    type of:
    move involuntarily, move reflexively
    move in an uncontrolled manner
  7. verb
    pull, or move with a sudden movement
    “He turned the handle and jerked the door open”
    synonyms: yank
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    type of:
    draw, force, pull
    cause to move by pulling
  8. verb
    jump vertically, with legs stiff and back arched
    synonyms: buck, hitch
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    type of:
    move
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  9. verb
    throw or toss with a quick motion
    jerk his head”
    synonyms: flick
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    type of:
    force, push
    move with force, "He pushed the table into a corner"
  10. noun
    a dull stupid fatuous person
    synonyms: dork
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    types:
    schmo, shmo
    (Yiddish) a jerk
    type of:
    misfit
    someone unable to adapt to their circumstances
  11. noun
    meat (especially beef) cut in strips and dried in the sun
    synonyms: jerked meat, jerky
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    types:
    beef jerky
    strips of dried beef
    biltong
    meat that is salted and cut into strips and dried in the sun
    type of:
    meat
    the flesh of animals (including fishes and birds and snails) used as food
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