AskDefine | Define jab

Dictionary Definition



1 a sharp hand gesture (resembling a blow); "he warned me with a jab with his finger"; "he made a thrusting motion with his fist" [syn: jabbing, poke, poking, thrust, thrusting]
2 a quick short straight punch
3 the act of touching someone suddenly with your finger or elbow; "she gave me a sharp dig in the ribs" [syn: dig]


1 poke or thrust abruptly; "he jabbed his finger into her ribs" [syn: prod, stab, poke, dig]
2 strike or punch quick and short blows
3 stab or pierce; "he jabbed the piece of meat with his pocket knife" [syn: stab] [also: jabbing, jabbed]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /dʒæb/, /dZ

Extensive Definition

A jab is one of the four main punches used in boxing. Several variations of the jab exist, but every jab shares these characteristics: while in a boxing stance, the lead fist is thrown straight ahead and the arm is fully extended. It is an overhand punch; at the moment of impact, the pronated fist is generally held in a horizontal orientation with the palm facing the ground.
The jab is probably the most familiar punch to the layperson. Although it is rarely the strongest punch in a fighter's arsenal, many consider the jab to be the most important punch in boxing . The Compubox computerized punch scoring system divides punches between jabs and power punches.

Uses for the jab


A jab is an integral part of a fighter's defense. Its speed of execution and reach can keep the opponent at a distance, preventing him from charging in. Defensive jabs can be employed while moving backwards.

Speed Jab

This jab gives a fighter high mobility and is often used with the intention of scoring points. Fighters use this variation of the jab when they want to preserve the mobility and balance of their stance.

Power Jab

Power can be added to a jab if it is thrown with a moderate step forward. The drawback to this technique is that it takes the fighter out of his boxing stance, committing him to the punch rather more than the speed jab. A "pivot jab" is the most powerful jab, one in which the weight shifts almost entirely to the lead foot, which pivots to put the mass of the body behind the punch. Jabbing from the hip, rather than from a tight guard, will add power to the jab at the expense of speed.

Jab to the Body

Jabbing to the body is relatively uncommon, because it increases a fighter's vulnerability to a counterpunch. Typically, the fighter bends at the waist and fires a speed jab to the midsection of his opponent in an attempt at getting the opponent to drop his guard. It is impractical to put the body weight behind this punch, so power is limited.

Jab Combinations

  • Jabs are often doubled up in an attempt at getting the opponent to compromise his guard.
  • "Jabbing on the fly" is a point-scoring maneuver that employs a quick series of speed jabs thrown by a circling fighter.
  • Most combinations start with a jab as a way of closing the distance and finding the proper range. In this context, the jab is referred to as a "set-up jab".
  • Many fighters end their combinations with a jab that is designed to stifle counterpunches.
Historians consider some of the best jabbers in history to be Sonny Liston, Larry Holmes, Muhammad Ali, Hector Camacho, and Sugar Ray Leonard. Holmes' jab has often been called "the best among Heavyweights", Ali's jab was famous for its speed and Liston's for its power.


jab in German: Jab (Boxen)
jab in French: Coup de poing direct à petite course
jab in Indonesian: Jab
jab in Italian: Diretto
jab in Japanese: ジャブ
jab in Russian: Джеб

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Parthian shot, assault, back answer, bang, barrack, bash, bat, bear, bear upon, bearing, beating, belt, biff, blow, bonk, boost, buck, bull, bulldoze, bump, bump against, bunt, butt, butt against, caustic remark, chaff, chop, clap, clip, clobber, clout, clump, coldcock, comeback, crack, cram, crowd, cut, cut at, cutting remark, dash, deal, deal a blow, deck, dig, dig at, dint, drive, drub, drubbing, drumming, dump, dump on, elbow, feint, fetch, fetch a blow, fleer, flout, foolery, force, fusillade, gibe, gibing retort, goad, head, hit, hit a clip, home thrust, hurtle, hustle, jab at, jam, jape, jeer, jest, jog, joggle, jolt, jostle, knock, knock cold, knock down, knock out, leg-pull, let have it, lick, lunge, mock, nudge, parting shot, pass, paste, pelt, pile drive, plunk, poke, pooh, pooh-pooh, pound, press, pressure, prod, punch, push, put down, put-down, put-on, quip, rail at, rally, ram, ram down, rank out, rap, rattle, revile, rude reproach, run, run against, scoff, scout, scurrility, shake, short answer, shoulder, shove, slam, slap, slap at, slog, slug, smack, smash, smite, snap, sneer, sneer at, soak, sock, stab, stress, strike, strike at, stroke, swat, swing, swipe, tamp, tattoo, taunt, thrust, thump, thwack, twit, verbal thrust, wallop, whack, wham, whop, yerk
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