Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Jaal goat (Zoology) A species of wild goat ( Capra Nubiana ) found in the mountains of Abyssinia, Upper Egypt, and Arabia; -- called also beden , and jaela .

Jab transitive verb [ Confer Job .] To thrust; to stab; to punch. See Job , transitive verb [ Scot. & Colloq. U. S.]

Jab noun A thrust or stab. [ Scot. & Colloq. U. S.]

Jabber intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Jabbered ; present participle & verbal noun Jabbering .] [ Confer Gibber , Gabble .] To talk rapidly, indistinctly, or unintelligibly; to utter gibberish or nonsense; to chatter. Swift.

Jabber transitive verb To utter rapidly or indistinctly; to gabble; as, to jabber French. Addison.

Jabber noun Rapid or incoherent talk, with indistinct utterance; gibberish. Swift.

Jabberer noun One who jabbers.

Jabberingly adverb In a jabbering manner.

Jabberment noun Jabber. [ R.] Milton.

Jabbernowl noun Same as Jobbernowl .

Jabiru noun [ Braz. jabirú , jaburú .] (Zoology) One of several large wading birds of the genera Mycteria and Xenorhynchus , allied to the storks in form and habits.

» The American jabiru ( Mycteria Americana ) is white, with the head and neck black and nearly bare of feathers. The East Indian and Australian ( Xenorhynchus Australis ) has the neck, head, and back covered with glossy, dark green feathers, changing on the head to purple. The African jabiru ( Mycteria, or Ephippiorhynchus, Senegalensis ) has the neck, head, wing coverts, and tail, black, and is called also saddle-billed stork .

Jaborandi noun (Botany) The native name of a South American rutaceous shrub ( Pilocarpus pennatifolius ). The leaves are used in medicine as an diaphoretic and sialogogue.

Jaborine noun [ From Jaborandi .] (Chemistry) An alkaloid found in jaborandi leaves, from which it is extracted as a white amorphous substance. In its action it resembles atropine.

Jabot noun [ French]


1. Originally, a kind of ruffle worn by men on the bosom of the shirt.

2. An arrangement of lace or tulle, looped ornamentally, and worn by women on the front of the dress.

Jacal (hä*käl"; 239) noun [ Amer. Spanish , from Mex. xacalli .] In Mexico and the southwestern United States, a kind of plastered house or hut, usually made by planting poles or timber in the ground, filling in between them with screen work or wickerwork, and daubing one or both sides with mud or adobe mortar; also, this method of construction.

Jacamar noun [ French jacamar , Braz. jacamarica ; confer Spanish jacamar .] (Zoology) Any one of numerous species of tropical American birds of the genus Galbula and allied genera. They are allied to the kingfishers, but climb on tree trunks like nuthatches, and feed upon insects. Their colors are often brilliant.

Jacana noun [ Confer Spanish jacania .] (Zoology) Any of several wading birds belonging to the genus Jacana and several allied genera, all of which have spurs on the wings. They are able to run about over floating water weeds by means of their very long, spreading toes. Called also surgeon bird .

» The most common South American species is Jacana spinosa . The East Indian or pheasant jacana ( Hydrophasianus chirurgus ) is remarkable for having four very long, curved, middle tail feathers.

Jacaranda noun [ Braz.; confer Spanish & Portuguese jacaranda .] (Botany) (a) The native Brazilian name for certain leguminous trees, which produce the beautiful woods called king wood , tiger wood , and violet wood . (b) A genus of bignoniaceous Brazilian trees with showy trumpet-shaped flowers.

Jacare noun [ Portuguese jacaré ; of Brazilian origin.] (Zoology) A cayman. See Yacare .

Jacchus noun [ New Latin , from Latin Jacchus a mystic name of Bacchus, Greek ....] (Zoology) The common marmoset ( Hapale vulgaris ). Formerly, the name was also applied to other species of the same genus.

Jacconet noun See Jaconet .

Jacent adjective [ Latin jacens , present participle of jacere to lie: confer French jacent .] Lying at length; as, the jacent posture. [ R.] Sir H. Wotton.

Jacinth noun [ French jacinthe , Latin hyacinthus . See Hyacinth .] See Hyacinth . Tennyson.

Jack (jăk) noun [ Portuguese jaca , Malayalam, tsjaka .] (Botany) 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 [ French Jacques James, Latin Jacobus , Greek ..., Hebrew Ya 'aqōb Jacob; prop., seizing by the heel; hence, a supplanter. Confer 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. (Zoology) (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. (Nautical) (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.

» 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 arch , an arch of the thickness of one brick. -- Jack back (Brewing & Malt Vinegar Manuf.) , a cistern which receives the wort. See under 1st Back . -- Jack block (Nautical) , a block fixed in the topgallant or royal rigging, used for raising and lowering light masts and spars. -- Jack boots , boots reaching above the knee; -- worn in the 17 century by soldiers; afterwards by fishermen, etc. -- Jack crosstree . (Nautical) See 10, b , above. -- Jack curlew (Zoology) , the whimbrel. -- Jack frame . (Cotton Spinning) See 4 (g) , above. -- Jack Frost , frost personified as a mischievous person. -- Jack hare , a male hare. Cowper. -- Jack lamp , a lamp for still hunting and camp use. See def. 4 (n.) , above. -- Jack plane , a joiner's plane used for coarse work. -- Jack post , one of the posts which support the crank shaft of a deep-well-boring apparatus. -- Jack pot (Poker Playing) , the name given to the stakes, contributions to which are made by each player successively, till such a hand is turned as shall take the "pot," which is the sum total of all the bets. -- Jack rabbit (Zoology) , any one of several species of large American hares, having very large ears and long legs. The California species ( Lepus Californicus ), and that of Texas and New Mexico ( Latin callotis ), have the tail black above, and the ears black at the tip. They do not become white in winter. The more northern prairie hare ( Latin campestris ) has the upper side of the tail white, and in winter its fur becomes nearly white. -- Jack rafter (Architecture) , in England, one of the shorter rafters used in constructing a hip or valley roof; in the United States, any secondary roof timber, as the common rafters resting on purlins in a trussed roof; also, one of the pieces simulating extended rafters, used under the eaves in some styles of building. -- Jack salmon (Zoology) , the wall-eyed pike, or glasseye. -- Jack sauce , an impudent fellow. [ Colloq. & Obsolete] -- Jack shaft (Machinery) , the first intermediate shaft, in a factory or mill, which receives power, through belts or gearing, from a prime mover, and transmits it, by the same means, to other intermediate shafts or to a line shaft. -- Jack sinker (Knitting Mach.) , a thin iron plate operated by the jack to depress the loop of thread between two needles. -- Jack snipe . (Zoology) See in the Vocabulary. -- Jack staff (Nautical) , a staff fixed on the bowsprit cap, upon which the jack is hoisted. -- Jack timber (Architecture) , any timber, as a rafter, rib, or studding, which, being intercepted, is shorter than the others. -- Jack towel , a towel hung on a roller for common use. -- Jack truss (Architecture) , in a hip roof, a minor truss used where the roof has not its full section. -- Jack tree . (Botany) See 1st Jack , noun -- Jack yard (Nautical) , a short spar to extend a topsail beyond the gaff.

Blue jack , blue vitriol; sulphate of copper. -- Hydraulic jack , a jack used for lifting, pulling, or forcing, consisting of a compact portable hydrostatic press, with its pump and a reservoir containing a supply of liquid, as oil. -- Jack-at-a-pinch . (a) One called upon to take the place of another in an emergency . (b) An itinerant parson who conducts an occasional service for a fee. -- Jack-at- all-trades , one who can turn his hand to any kind of work. -- Jack-by-the-hedge (Botany) , a plant of the genus Erysimum ( E. alliaria , or Alliaria officinalis ), which grows under hedges. It bears a white flower and has a taste not unlike garlic. Called also, in England, sauce-alone . Eng. Cyc. -- Jack- in-a-box . (a) (Botany) A tropical tree ( Hernandia sonora ), which bears a drupe that rattles when dry in the inflated calyx . (b) A child's toy, consisting of a box, out of which, when the lid is raised, a figure springs . (c) (Mech.) An epicyclic train of bevel gears for transmitting rotary motion to two parts in such a manner that their relative rotation may be variable; applied to driving the wheels of tricycles, road locomotives, and to cotton machinery, etc.; an equation box; a jack frame; -- called also compensating gearing . (d) A large wooden screw turning in a nut attached to the crosspiece of a rude press. -- Jack-in-office , an insolent fellow in authority. Wolcott. -- Jack-in-the- bush (Botany) , a tropical shrub with red fruit ( Cordia Cylindrostachya ). -- Jack-in-the- green , a chimney sweep inclosed in a framework of boughs, carried in Mayday processions. -- Jack-in-the- pulpit (Botany) , the American plant Arisæma triphyllum , or Indian turnip, in which the upright spadix is inclosed. -- Jack-of-the- buttery (Botany) , the stonecrop ( Sedum acre ). -- Jack-of-the-clock , a figure, usually of a man, on old clocks, which struck the time on the bell. -- Jack-on-both-sides , one who is or tries to be neutral. -- Jack-out-of-office , one who has been in office and is turned out. Shak. - - Jack the Giant Killer , the hero of a well- known nursery story. -- Jack-with-a-lantern , Jack-o'-lantern . (a) An ignis fatuus; a will-o'-the-wisp . "[ Newspaper speculations] supplying so many more jack-o'-lanterns to the future historian." Lowell. (b) A lantern made of a pumpkin so prepared as to show in illumination the features of a human face, etc. -- Yellow Jack (Nautical) , the yellow fever; also, the quarantine flag. See Yellow flag , under Flag .

Jack noun [ French jaque , jacque , perhaps from the proper name Jacques . Confer Jacquerie .] 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 .] A pitcher or can of waxed leather; -- called also black jack . [ Obsolete] Dryden.

Jack intransitive verb To hunt game at night by means of a jack. See 2d Jack , noun , 4, noun

Jack transitive verb To move or lift, as a house, by means of a jack or jacks. See 2d Jack , noun , 5.

Jack Ketch [ Perh. from Jack , the proper name + Prov. E. ketch a hangman, from ketch , for catch to seize; but see the citations below.] A public executioner, or hangman. [ Eng.]

The manor of Tyburn was formerly held by Richard Jaquett , where felons for a long time were executed; from whence we have Jack Ketch .
Lloyd's MS., British Museum.

[ Monmouth] then accosted John Ketch , the executioner, a wretch who had butchered many brave and noble victims, and whose name has, during a century and a half, been vulgarly given to all who have succeeded him in his odious office.
Macaulay.

Jack-a-dandy noun A little dandy; a little, foppish, impertinent fellow.

Jack-a-lent noun A small stuffed puppet to be pelted in Lent; hence, a simple fellow.

Jack-o'-lantern noun See Jack-with-a-lantern , under 2d Jack .

Jackal noun [ Pers. shaghāl : confer Old French jackal , French chacal ; confer Sanskrit çr.gāla .]


1. (Zoology) Any one of several species of carnivorous animals inhabiting Africa and Asia, related to the dog and wolf. They are cowardly, nocturnal, and gregarious. They feed largely on carrion, and are noted for their piercing and dismal howling.

» The common species of Southern Asia ( Canis aureus ) is yellowish gray, varied with brown on the shoulders, haunches, and legs. The common African species ( C. anthus ) is darker in color.

2. One who does mean work for another's advantage, as jackals were once thought to kill game which lions appropriated. [ Colloq.] Ld. Lytton.

Jackanapes noun [ For Jack o' (= of ) apes ; prop., a man who exhibits apes.] [ Written also jackanape .]


1. A monkey; an ape. Shak.

2. A coxcomb; an impertinent or conceited fellow.

A young upstart jackanapes .
Arbuthnot.

Jackaroo noun Also Jack`e*roo" [ Jack + kang aroo .] A young man living as an apprentice on a sheep station, or otherwise engaged in acquainting himself with colonial life. [ Colloq., Australia]

Jackaroo intransitive verb To be a jackaroo; to pass one's time as a jackaroo. [ Colloq., Australia]

Jackass noun [ 2d jack + ass .]


1. The male ass; a donkey.

2. A conceited dolt; a perverse blockhead.

Jackass bark (Nautical) , a three-masted vessel, with only the foremast square-rigged; a barkentine. -- Jackass deer (Zoology) , the koba. -- Jackass hare , Jackass rabbit (Zoology) . See Jack rabbit , under 2d Jack , noun -- Jackass penguin (Zoology) , any species of penguin of the genus Spheniscus , of which several are known. One species ( S. demersus ) inhabits the islands near the Cape of Good Hope; another ( S. Magellanicus ) is found at the Falkland Islands. They make a noise like the braying of an ass; -- hence the name. -- Laughing jackass . (Zoology) See under Laughing .

Jackdaw noun [ Prob. 2d jack + daw , noun ] (Zoology) See Daw , noun

Jackeen noun A drunken, dissolute fellow. [ Ireland] S. C. Hall.

Jacket noun [ French jaquette , dim. of jaque . See 3d Jack , noun ]


1. A short upper garment, extending downward to the hips; a short coat without skirts.

2. An outer covering for anything, esp. a covering of some nonconducting material such as wood or felt, used to prevent radiation of heat, as from a steam boiler, cylinder, pipe, etc.

3. (Mil.) In ordnance, a strengthening band surrounding and reënforcing the tube in which the charge is fired.

4. A garment resembling a waistcoat lined with cork, to serve as a life preserver; -- called also cork jacket .

Blue jacket . (Nautical) See under Blue . -- Steam jacket , a space filled with steam between an inner and an outer cylinder, or between a casing and a receptacle, as a kettle. -- To dust one's jacket , to give one a beating. [ Colloq.]

Jacket transitive verb
1. To put a jacket on; to furnish, as a boiler, with a jacket.

2. To thrash; to beat. [ Low]

Jacketed adjective Wearing, or furnished with, a jacket.

Jacketing noun The material of a jacket; as, nonconducting jacketing .

Jackknife noun A large, strong clasp knife for the pocket; a pocket knife.

Jackman noun ; plural Jackmen


1. One wearing a jack; a horse soldier; a retainer. See 3d Jack , noun

Christie . . . the laird's chief jackman .
Sir W. Scott.

2. A cream cheese. [ Obsolete] Sir T. Elyot.

Jackpudding noun A merry- andrew; a buffoon. Milton.

Jacksaw noun (Zoology) The merganser.

Jackscrew noun A jack in which a screw is used for lifting, or exerting pressure. See Illust. of 2d Jack , noun , 5.