v. jumped, jump·ing, jumps
a. To propel oneself upward or over a distance in single quick motion or series of such motions.
b. To move suddenly and in one motion: jumped out of bed.
c. To move involuntarily, as in surprise: jumped when the phone rang.
d. To parachute from an aircraft.
a. Informal To act quickly; hustle: Jump when I give you an order.
b. To take prompt advantage; respond quickly: jump at a bargain.
a. To enter eagerly into an activity; plunge: jumped into the race for the nomination.
b. To begin or start. Often used with off: The project jumped off with great enthusiasm.
4. To form an opinion or judgment hastily: jump to conclusions.
5. To make a sudden verbal attack; lash out: jumped at me for being late.
a. To undergo a sudden and pronounced increase: Prices jumped in October.
b. To rise suddenly in position or rank: jumped over two others with more seniority.
7. To change discontinuously or after a short period: jumps from one subject to another; jumped from one job to another.
a. To be displaced by a sudden jerk: The phonograph needle jumped.
b. To be displaced vertically or laterally because of improper alignment: The film jumped during projection.
9. Computers To move from one set of instructions in a program to another out of sequence.
a. To move over an opponent's playing piece in a board game.
b. To make a jump bid in bridge.
11. Slang To be lively; bustle: a disco that really jumps.
1. To leap over or across: jump a fence.
2. To leap onto: jump a bus.
3. Slang To spring upon in sudden attack; assault or ambush: Muggers jumped him in the park.
4. To move or start prematurely before: jumped the starting signal.
5. To cause to leap: jump a horse over a fence.
6. To cause to increase suddenly: shortages that jumped milk prices by several cents.
7. To pass over; skip: The typewriter jumped a space.
8. To raise in rank or position; promote.
a. To move a piece over (an opponent's piece) in a board game, often thereby capturing the opponent's piece.
b. To raise (a partner's bid) in bridge by more than is necessary.
10. To jump-start (a motor vehicle).
11. To leave (a course), especially through mishap: The train jumped the rails.
a. To leave hastily; skip: jumped town a step ahead of the police.
b. To leave (an organization, for example) suddenly or in violation of an agreement: jumped the team and signed with a rival club.
13. To seize or occupy illegally: jump a mining claim.
14. Vulgar Slang To have sexual intercourse with.
a. The act of jumping; a leap.
b. The distance covered by a jump: a jump of seven feet.
c. An obstacle or span to be jumped.
d. A structure or course from which a jump is made: built a jump out of snow.
2. A descent from an aircraft by parachute.
3. Sports Any of several track-and-field events in which contestants jump.
a. An initial competitive advantage; a head start: got the jump on the other newspapers.
b. Energy or quickness: "We got off to a slow start. We didn't have any jump, and when we did get things going, we were too far behind" (John LeClair).
a. A sudden pronounced rise, as in price or salary.
b. An impressive promotion.
6. A step or level: managed to stay a jump ahead.
7. A sudden or major transition, as from one career or subject to another.
a. A short trip.
b. One in a series of moves and stopovers, as with a circus or road show.
9. Games A move in a board game over an opponent's piece.
10. Computers A movement from one set of instructions to another.
a. An involuntary nervous movement; a start.
b. jumps A condition of nervousness. Often used with the.
12. A jump-start of a motor vehicle.
13. Vulgar Slang An act of sexual intercourse.
To be readily noticed: The misspellings jumped out at me.
To fail to appear in court after having been released on bail.
jump (someone's) bones Vulgar Slang
To have sexual intercourse with someone.
jump the gun
To start doing something too soon.
jump the shark
To undergo a sustained decline in quality or popularity.
jump through hoops
To make extraordinary efforts, especially in following a prescribed procedure.
[Early Modern English, perhaps imitative of the sound of feet hitting with the ground after jumping. Idiom, jump the shark, after a 1977 episode of the television series Happy Days in which the character Arthur "the Fonz" Fonzarelli makes a show of bravery by jumping over a shark while on water skis (considered as an improbable and absurd plot incident marking the moment at which the series began to decline).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.