- Also jump. Automotive. the starting of an internal-combustion engine that has a discharged or weak battery by means of booster cables.
verb (used with object)
- to give a jump-start to: to jump-start an engine.
- to enliven or revive: to jump-start a sluggish economy.
- to start the engine of (a car) by connecting it to another engine with jump leads or (of a car) to start in this way
- the act of starting a car in this way
also jump-start, to start a car using battery booster cables, by 1970, from jumper “wire used to cut out part of a circuit or close a gap” (1901 in telegraphy); see jump + start. Related: Jumpstarted; jumpstarting. Figurative use by 1975.