Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Jerkinhead noun (Architecture) The hipped part of a roof which is hipped only for a part of its height, leaving a truncated gable.

Jerky adjective Moving by jerks and starts; characterized by abrupt transitions; as, a jerky vehicle; a jerky style.

Jermoonal noun (Zoology) The Himalayan snow partridge.

Jeronymite noun (Eccl. Hist.) One belonging of the mediæval religious orders called Hermits of St. Jerome . [ Written also Hieronymite .]

Jeropigia noun See Geropigia .

Jerquer noun [ Confer French chercher to search, English search .] A customhouse officer who searches ships for unentered goods. [ Eng.] [ Written also jerguer. ]

Jerquing noun The searching of a ship for unentered goods. [ Eng.] [ Written also jerguer .]

Jerry adjective Flimsy; jerry- built. -- Jer"ry*ism noun [ Both Builder's Cant]

Jerry-builder noun [ Prob. from the proper name Jerry , familiar form of Jeremiah .] A professional builder who erects cheap dwellings of poor materials and unsubstantial and slovenly construction.

Jerry-built adjective Built hastily and of bad materials; as, jerry-built houses. [ Colloq. Eng.]

Jersey noun ; plural Jerseys . [ From Jersey , the largest of the Channel Islands.]


1. The finest of wool separated from the rest; combed wool; also, fine yarn of wool.

2. A kind of knitted jacket; hence, in general, a closefitting jacket or upper garment made of an elastic fabric (as stockinet).

3. One of a breed of cattle in the Island of Jersey. Jerseys are noted for the richness of their milk.

Jerusalem (je*ru"sȧ*lĕm) noun [ Greek 'Ieroysalh`m , from Hebrew Yĕrūshālaim .] The chief city of Palestine, intimately associated with the glory of the Jewish nation, and the life and death of Jesus Christ.

Jerusalem artichoke [ Perh. a corrupt. of Italian girasole i.e. , sunflower, or turnsole. See Gyre , Solar .] (Botany) (a) An American plant, a perennial species of sunflower ( Helianthus tuberosus ), whose tubers are sometimes used as food . (b) One of the tubers themselves. -- Jerusalem cherry (Botany) , the popular name of either of two species of Solanum ( S. Pseudo- capsicum and S. capsicastrum ), cultivated as ornamental house plants. They bear bright red berries of about the size of cherries. -- Jerusalem oak (Botany) , an aromatic goosefoot ( Chenopodium Botrys ), common about houses and along roadsides. -- Jerusalem sage (Botany) , a perennial herb of the Mint family ( Phlomis tuberosa ). -- Jerusalem thorn (Botany) , a spiny, leguminous tree ( Parkinsonia aculeata ), widely dispersed in warm countries, and used for hedges. -- The New Jerusalem , Heaven; the Celestial City.

Jervine noun [ Prob. from Spanish yerba herb, OSp., the poison of the veratrum.] (Chemistry) A poisonous alkaloid resembling veratrine, and found with it in white hellebore ( Veratrum album ); -- called also jervina .

Jess noun ; plural Jesses . [ Old French gies , giez , prop. plural of giet , get , jet , French jet , a throwing, jess. See Jet a shooting forth.] ( falconry ) A short strap of leather or silk secured round the leg of a hawk, to which the leash or line, wrapped round the falconer's hand, was attached when used. See Illust. of Falcon .

Like a hawk, which feeling freed
From bells and jesses which did let her flight.
Spenser.

Jessamine noun (Botany) Same as Jasmine .

Jessant adjective (Her.) Springing up or emerging; -- said of a plant or animal.

Jesse noun [ Late Latin Jesse , the father of David, from Greek ..., from Herb. Yishai .] Any representation or suggestion of the genealogy of Christ, in decorative art ; as: (a) A genealogical tree represented in stained glass. (b) A candlestick with many branches, each of which bears the name of some one of the descendants of Jesse; -- called also tree of Jesse .

Jesse window (Architecture) , a window of which the glazing and tracery represent the tree of Jesse.

Jessed adjective (Her.) Having jesses on, as a hawk.

Jest noun [ Middle English jeste , geste , deed, action, story, tale, Old French geste , Late Latin gesta , orig., exploits, neut. plural from Latin gestus , past participle of gerere to bear, carry, accomplish, perform; perhaps orig., to make to come, bring, and perhaps akin to English come . Confer Gest a deed, Register , noun ]


1. A deed; an action; a gest. [ Obsolete]

The jests or actions of princes.
Sir T. Elyot.

2. A mask; a pageant; an interlude. [ Obsolete] Nares.

He promised us, in honor of our guest,
To grace our banquet with some pompous jest .
Kyd.

3. Something done or said in order to amuse; a joke; a witticism; a jocose or sportive remark or phrase. See Synonyms under Jest , intransitive verb

I must be sad . . . smile at no man's jests .
Shak.

The Right Honorable gentleman is indebted to his memory for his jests , and to his imagination for his facts.
Sheridan.

4. The object of laughter or sport; a laughingstock.

Then let me be your jest ; I deserve it.
Shak.

In jest , for mere sport or diversion; not in truth and reality; not in earnest.

And given in earnest what I begged in jest .
Shak.

-- Jest book , a book containing a collection of jests, jokes, and amusing anecdotes; a Joe Miller.

Jest intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Jested ; present participle & verbal noun Jesting .]


1. To take part in a merrymaking; -- especially, to act in a mask or interlude. [ Obsolete] Shak.

2. To make merriment by words or actions; to joke; to make light of anything.

He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
Shak.

Syn. -- To joke; sport; rally. -- To Jest , Joke . One jests in order to make others laugh; one jokes to please himself. A jest is usually at the expense of another, and is often ill-natured; a joke is a sportive sally designed to promote good humor without wounding the feelings of its object. " Jests are, therefore, seldom harmless; jokes frequently allowable. The most serious subject may be degraded by being turned into a jest ." Crabb.

Jester noun [ Confer Gestour .]


1. A buffoon; a merry-andrew; a court fool.

This . . . was Yorick's skull, the king's jester .
Shak.

Dressed in the motley garb that jesters wear.
Longfellow.

2. A person addicted to jesting, or to indulgence in light and amusing talk.

He ambled up and down
With shallow jesters .
Shak.

Jestful adjective Given to jesting; full of jokes.

Jesting adjective Sportive; not serious; fit for jests.

He will find that these are no jesting matters.
Macaulay.

Jesting noun The act or practice of making jests; joking; pleasantry. Eph. v. 4.

Jestingly adverb In a jesting manner.

Jesu noun [ Latin , vocative and oblique cases of Jesus .] Jesus. [ Poetical]

Jesu , give the weary
Calm and sweet repose.
S. Baring-Gould.

Jesuit noun [ French Jésuite , Spanish Jesuita : confer Italian Gesuita .]


1. (R. C. Ch.) One of a religious order founded by Ignatius Loyola, and approved in 1540, under the title of The Society of Jesus.

» The order consists of Scholastics, the Professed, the Spiritual Coadjutors, and the Temporal Coadjutors or Lay Brothers. The Jesuit novice after two years becomes a Scholastic, and takes his first vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience simply. Some years after, at the close of a second novitiate, he takes his second vows and is ranked among the Coadjutors or Professed. The Professed are bound by a fourth vow, from which only the pope can dispense, requiring them to go wherever the pope may send them for missionary duty. The Coadjutors teach in the schools, and are employed in general missionary labors. The Society is governed by a General who holds office for life. He has associated with him "Assistants" (five at the present time), representing different provinces. The Society was first established in the United States in 1807. The Jesuits have displayed in their enterprises a high degree of zeal, learning, and skill, but, by their enemies, have been generally reputed to use art and intrigue in promoting or accomplishing their purposes, whence the words Jesuit , Jesuitical , and the like, have acquired an opprobrious sense.

2. Fig.: A crafty person; an intriguer.

Jesuits' bark , Peruvian bark, or the bark of certain species of Cinchona ; -- so called because its medicinal properties were first made known in Europe by Jesuit missionaries to South America. -- Jesuits' drops . See Friar's balsam , under Friar . -- Jesuits' nut , the European water chestnut. -- Jesuits' powder , powdered cinchona bark. -- Jesuits' tea , a Chilian leguminous shrub, used as a tea and medicinally.

Jesuited adjective Conforming to the principles of the Jesuits. Milton.

Jesuitess noun [ Confer French Jésuitesse .] (R. C. Hist.) One of an order of nuns established on the principles of the Jesuits, but suppressed by Pope Urban in 1633.

Jesuitic, Jesuitical adjective [ Confer French jésuitique .]


1. Of or pertaining to the Jesuits, or to their principles and methods.

2. Designing; cunning; deceitful; crafty; -- an opprobrious use of the word. Dryden.

Jesuitically adverb In a jesuitical manner.

Jesuitism noun [ Confer French jésuitisme .]


1. The principles and practices of the Jesuits.

2. Cunning; deceit; deceptive practices to effect a purpose; subtle argument; -- an opprobrious use of the word.

Jesuitocracy noun [ Jesuit + -cracy , as in aristocracy .] Government by Jesuits; also, the whole body of Jesuits in a country. [ R.] C. Kingsley.

Jesuitry noun Jesuitism; subtle argument. [ R.] Carlyle.

Jesus (jē"zŭs) noun [ Latin Jesus , Greek ..., from Hebrew Yēshūa' ; Yāh Jehovah + hōshīa' to help.] The Savior ; the name of the Son of God as announced by the angel to his parents; the personal name of Our Lord, in distinction from Christ, his official appellation. Luke i. 31.

Thou shalt call his name Jesus ; for he shall save his people from their sins.
Matt. i. 21.

»The form Jesu is often used, esp. in the vocative.

Jesu , do thou my soul receive.
Keble.

The Society of Jesus . See Jesuit .

Jet noun Same as 2d Get . [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Jet noun [ Old French jet , jayet , French jaïet , jais , Latin gagates , from Greek ...; -- so called from ... or ..., a town and river in Lycia.] [ written also jeat , jayet .] (Min.) A variety of lignite, of a very compact texture and velvet black color, susceptible of a good polish, and often wrought into mourning jewelry, toys, buttons, etc. Formerly called also black amber .

Jet ant (Zoology) , a blackish European ant ( Formica fuliginosa ), which builds its nest of a paperlike material in the trunks of trees.

Jet noun [ French jet , Old French get , giet , Latin jactus a throwing, a throw, from jacere to throw. Confer Abject , Ejaculate , Gist , Jess , Jut .]


1. A shooting forth; a spouting; a spurt; a sudden rush or gush, as of water from a pipe, or of flame from an orifice; also, that which issues in a jet.

2. Drift; scope; range, as of an argument. [ Obsolete]

3. The sprue of a type, which is broken from it when the type is cold. Knight.

Jet propeller (Nautical) , a device for propelling vessels by means of a forcible jet of water ejected from the vessel, as by a centrifugal pump. -- Jet pump , a device in which a small jet of steam, air, water, or other fluid, in rapid motion, lifts or otherwise moves, by its impulse, a larger quantity of the fluid with which it mingles.

Jet intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Jetted ; present participle & verbal noun Jetting .] [ French jeter , Latin jactare , freq. from jacere to throw. See 3d Jet , and confer Jut .]


1. To strut; to walk with a lofty or haughty gait; to be insolent; to obtrude. [ Obsolete]

he jets under his advanced plumes!
Shak.

To jet upon a prince's right.
Shak.

2. To jerk; to jolt; to be shaken. [ Obsolete] Wiseman.

3. To shoot forward or out; to project; to jut out.

Jet transitive verb To spout; to emit in a stream or jet.

A dozen angry models jetted steam.
Tennyson.

Jet d'eau plural Jets d'eau [ French, a throw of water. See Jet a shooting forth.] A stream of water spouting from a fountain or pipe (especially from one arranged to throw water upward), in a public place or in a garden, for ornament.

Jet d'eau ; plural Jets d'eau . [ French, a throw of water.] A stream of water spouting, esp. upward, from a fountain or pipe for ornament; also, the fountain or pipe from which it issues.

Jet-black adjective Black as jet; deep black.

Jeterus noun (Botany) A yellowness of the parts of plants which are normally green; yellows.

Jetsam Jet"son noun [ French jeter to throw: confer Old French getaison a throwing. Confer Flotsam , Jettison .]


1. (Mar. Law) Goods which sink when cast into the sea, and remain under water; -- distinguished from flotsam , goods which float, and ligan , goods which are sunk attached to a buoy.

2. Jettison. See Jettison , 1.

Jetteau (jĕt"to) noun See Jet d'eau . [ R.] Addison.

Jettee (-te) noun See Jetty , noun Burke.

Jetter (-tẽr) noun One who struts; one who bears himself jauntily; a fop. [ Obsolete] Palsgrave.

Jettiness (-tĭ*nĕs). noun The state of being jetty; blackness. Pennant.