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

  • transitive v. To start (the engine of a motor vehicle) by using a booster cable connected to the battery of another vehicle or by engaging the drive train while the vehicle is rolling downhill or being pushed.
  • transitive v. Informal To start or reinvigorate (an activity, system, or process): "struggled to jump-start his once front-running . . . presidential campaign” ( Susan Feeney).
  • n. The act, process, or an instance of starting a motor vehicle by using a booster cable or suddenly releasing the clutch while the vehicle is being pushed.
  • n. Informal The act or an instance of starting or setting in motion a stalled or sluggish system or process.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To start a motor vehicle by passing an electrical current from a charged battery to the discharged battery of the vehicle being started, by means of a booster cable connecting the two batteries.
  • v. To reactivate or rejuvenate.
  • n. The process or result of jump-starting a motor vehicle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The action or event of jump-starting. For motor vehicles, the jump-starting of an engine is also called a jump.

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

  • v. start (a car engine whose battery is dead) by connecting it to another car's battery
  • v. start or re-start vigorously
  • n. starting an automobile engine that has a weak battery by means of jumper cables to another car


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Putting words, or key parts of words, together to form new words, as with moonshine or daylight, crossroads or earthquake, but also linebacker, lemonade, and jump-start, comes naturally to speakers of English.

    The English Is Coming!

  • AvalonBay Communities Inc. will break ground Wednesday on a New Jersey apartment project that aims to jump-start the transformation of a shuttered airplane-engine factory into an urban hub.

    Stalled Wood-Ridge Hub Tries to Get on Track

  • Anybody else have specific words they use to jump-start an impersonation? posted by Deron Bauman in entertainment, language | * | 15 comments comments

    gateway words | clusterflock

  • I like to jump-start Bobby Darin with Looked a lot like Che Guevara/Drove a diesel van.

    gateway words | clusterflock

  • The productivity began with the stimulus package, which was far more than an injection of $787 billion in government spending to jump-start the ailing economy.

    Think Progress » McConnell Tries To Insist The GOP Isn’t Obstructionist: ‘It Is Simply Not True’

  • Q: How long/far does one have to drive a car to recharge a dead battery after receiving a jump-start?

    Me & My Car

  • Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation and Democratic Mayor Dave Bing abandoned a roughly $600 million plan to build a light-rail line along a key corridor that supporters had insisted would attract new residents and jump-start economic growth.

    Detroit to Reconsider Light-Rail Line

  • Indeed, any time you need a jump-start it is a good idea to have your mechanic test the battery's condition and charge it fully.

    Me & My Car

  • A: The general rule is you should drive the car for 15 to 30 minutes after a jump-start to make sure the battery gets a decent charge.

    Me & My Car

  • Calpers officials saw these equity investments as an opportunity to reap big rewards while helping to jump-start a stalled California housing market at a time when prices were depressed.

    Calpers Downsizes Housing Portfolio


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.