Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “jerk”

jerk

verb [I or T, usually + adv/prep]     /dʒɜːk/ US  /dʒɝːk/
to make a short sudden movement, or to cause someone or something to do this: The car made a strange noise and then jerked to a halt. "What's wrong?" she asked, jerking her head up.Making short, sudden movements to (force or cause someone or something to) suddenly behave differently, usually by understanding something or becoming active again: The shock of losing his job jerked him out of his settled lifestyle.Affecting and influencing
(Definition of jerk verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of jerk

Definitions of “jerk” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

closeness

the quality of knowing someone very well, liking them a lot, and wanting to spend a lot of time together

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More