Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The accumulated stakes in a kind of poker that requires one to hold a pair of jacks or better in order to open the betting.
  • noun The largest prize or reward in various games or contests.
  • noun A lucky development or substantial success.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In draw-poker, a pot or pool in which the ante must be repeated until some player can open the betting with a pair of jacks or better.
  • noun In lumbering, an unskilful piece of work.
  • noun A pile of logs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Same as jack pot. See under jack.
  • noun Any larger-than-usual gambling prize formed by the accumulation of unwon bets.
  • noun The highest gambling prize awarded in a gambling game in which smaller prizes are also awarded, especially such a prize on a slot machine.
  • noun An unusually large success in an enterprise, either unexpected or unpredictable, esp. one providing a great financial benefit.
  • noun to receive an unexpectedly large (or the largest possible) benefit from an enterprise.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Western US A difficult situation.
  • noun A jumble of felled timber.
  • noun A money prize pool which accumulates until the conditions are met for it to be won.
  • noun A large cash prize or money.
  • noun An unexpected windfall or reward.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any outstanding award
  • noun the cumulative amount involved in a game (such as poker)

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Unknown

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Also jack-pot, "big prize," 1944, from slot machine sense (1932), from obsolete poker sense (1881) of antes that begin when no player has a pair of jacks or better; from jack (n.) in the card-playing sense + pot (1). Earlier, in criminal slang, it meant "trouble," especially "an arrest" (1902).

Examples

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