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

  • transitive & intransitive verb To jab or make a jab.
  • noun A jab.
  • noun A regular activity performed in exchange for payment, especially as one's trade, occupation, or profession.
  • noun A position of employment.
  • noun A task that must be done.
  • noun A specified duty or responsibility: synonym: task.
  • noun Informal A difficult or strenuous task.
  • noun A specific piece of work to be done for a set fee.
  • noun The object to be worked on.
  • noun Something resulting from or produced by work.
  • noun An operation done to improve one's appearance, or the result of such an operation. Often used in combination.
  • noun Computers A program application that may consist of several steps but is performed as a single logical unit.
  • noun Informal A state of affairs.
  • noun Informal A criminal act, especially a robbery.
  • noun Informal An example of a specified type, especially of something made or constructed. Often used in combination.
  • intransitive verb To work at odd jobs.
  • intransitive verb To work by the piece.
  • intransitive verb To act as a jobber.
  • intransitive verb To purchase (merchandise) from manufacturers and sell it to retailers.
  • intransitive verb To arrange for (contracted work) to be done in portions by others; subcontract.
  • intransitive verb To transact (official business) dishonestly for private profit.
  • idiom (do a job on) To damage, harm, or worsen.
  • idiom (do a job on) To defecate on.
  • idiom (on the job) Paying close attention; on the alert.
  • idiom (on the job) At work; at one's place of business.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To let out in separate portions, an work among different contractors or workmen: often with out: as, to job out the building of a house.
  • To let out or to hire by the week or month, as horses or carriages.
  • To buy in large quantities, and sell to dealers in smaller lots: as, to job cotton; to job cigars. See jobber, 3.
  • To deal in the public stocks on one's own account. See jobber.
  • To work at jobs or at chance work.
  • To let or to hire horses, carriages, etc., for occasional use.
  • To execute a trust in such a manner as to make it subserve unjustly one's private ends; especially, to pervert public service to private advantage.
  • noun A sudden stab, prick, or thrust, as with anything pointed; a jab.
  • noun A small piece of wood.
  • noun A lump.
  • noun A particular piece of work; something to be done; any undertaking of a defined or restricted character; also, an engagement for the performance of some specified work: something to do.
  • noun In printing, specifically, a piece of work of the miscellaneous class, including posters, handbills, bill-heads, cards, circulars, small pamphlets, etc.
  • noun An imposition; a trick.
  • noun An undertaking so managed as to secure unearned profit or undue advantage; especially, a public duty or trust performed or conducted with a view to improper private gain; a perversion of trust for personal benefit in doing any work.
  • noun Odd jobs, disconnected, irregular, or trivial pieces of work.
  • Specifically— Assigned to a special use, as a horse let out or hired by the week or month.
  • Bought or sold together; lumped together: used chiefly in the phrase job lot, a quantity of goods, either of a miscellaneous character, or of the same kind but of different qualities, conditions, sizes, etc., disposed of or bought as a single lot for a lump sum and at a comparatively low price.
  • To chide; reprimand.
  • To strike, stab, or punch, as with something pointed.
  • To drive; force.
  • To aim a blow; strike at something.

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

  • transitive verb To strike or stab with a pointed instrument.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Perhaps from obsolete jobbe, piece, alteration of Middle English gobbe, lump; see gob1.
Middle English jobben, of imitative origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the phrase jobbe of work "piece of work", from Middle English jobbe ("piece, article"). Of uncertain origin. Perhaps related to Middle English gobbe "lump, mouthful", Middle English jobben ("to jab, thrust, peck"), or Middle English choppe ("piece, bargain"). More at gob, jab, chop


  • By the way, emphasizing the ability to *** continue with a single health care insurer in moving from job to job*** is a gaping untapped market of import and would go a long way to address the financial problems, as well as to draw support.

    McAuliffe Comes Out Swinging: Without Public Option, Health Care A "Failure"

  • If you have a situation where Cabinet or whoever can vote that the PM is no longer capable of doing the job, that vote should be based on *evidence that the PM is no longer capable of doing the job*.

    The Prime Minister and pills

  • $workload = $job - > workload (); echo "Received job:". $job - > handle (). "\n"; echo "Workload: $workload\n";

    Rasmus' Toys Page

  • Stewart noticed that they've actually been restricting themselves from using the word "rich" when talking about those affected by the end of the Bush tax cuts, opting instead for the term "job creators."

    Jon Stewart Mocks GOP Claims That Obama 'Obsessed' With Taxing 'Job Creators' (VIDEO)

  • Using the term "job creators" is doing exactly the same thing!!! Top headlines

  • So I think there is space upon whatever they discover, there's always the opportunity until we get a term job somewhere else that they would continue to extend the rig from one well to another.

  • Over the last decade, the word job has gone planetary.

    The English Is Coming!

  • Even today, native speakers of English hear in the word job a range of occupational senses from the lowly and hourly to the permanent and fabulously remunerated.

    The English Is Coming!

  • "Their main job is to present a good image so they have to be good looking," said the human resources director of the law enforcement bureau.

    Chinese city wardens wanted: must be young, female and pretty

  • To use an example, if you are a point gurad, your main job is to be able to handle the rock under control and pressure, contol the pace of the game, make sure all your teamates are doing their job correctly and be your coaches on the court general.

    Great Thye | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles


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  • This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

    There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure Somebody would do it.

    Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

    Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job.

    Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.

    It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

    January 7, 2010

  • The pronunciation given for 'job' is that for the Old Testament character (rhymes with 'globe') and not for the meanings connected with employment, etc. It should be /d??b/ (British English pronunciation), rhyming with 'bob'.

    August 8, 2009