Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Origin: Probably from yerk 'to hit, pull suddenly' (16-19 centuries)

jerk

1 verb
     
jerk1
1 [intransitive and transitive] to move with a quick sudden movement, or to make part of your body move in this way:
Wilcox jerked his head to indicate that they should move on.
'Is that the only way out of here?' he asked, jerking a thumb at the door.
jerk back/up/forwards etc
Suddenly he jerked back in his chair.
The sound of the phone jerked me awake.
2 [intransitive and transitive] to pull something suddenly and roughly
jerk at
Doyle jerked at the girl's hair, to make her sit down.
She jerked open the car door and got out.

jerk somebody around

phrasal verb
to waste someone's time or deliberately make things difficult for them

jerk off

phrasal verb
to masturbate

jerk out something

phrasal verb
to say something quickly and nervously:
'Don't lie,' she jerked out.

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