1. 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)

  1. to give a jump-start to: to jump-start an engine.
  2. to enliven or revive: to jump-start a sluggish economy.


  1. 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


  1. 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.

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