verb (used with or without object), jabbed, jab·bing.
- to poke, or thrust abruptly or sharply, as with the end or point of a stick.
- to punch, especially with a short, quick blow.
- a poke with the end or point of something; a sharp, quick thrust.
- a short, quick punch.
verb jabs, jabbing or jabbed
- to poke or thrust sharply
- to strike with a quick short blow or blows
- a sharp poke or stab
- a quick short blow, esp (in boxing) a straight punch with the leading hand
- informal an injectionpolio jabs
1825, “to thrust with a point,” Scottish variant of job “to strike, pierce, thrust,” from Middle English jobben “to jab, thrust, peck” (late 15c.), of unknown origin, perhaps echoic. Related: Jabbed; jabbing.
1825, from jab (v.). Meaning “a punch with the fist” is from 1889. Sense of “injection with a hypodermic needle,” beloved by headline writers, is from 1914.