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Meaning of jackknife

jack•knife

Pronunciation: ( jak'nīf"), [key]
— n., pl. v., adj. -knives, -knifed, -knif•ing,
—n.
  1. a large pocketknife.
  2. a dive in which the diver bends in midair to touch the toes, keeping the legs straight, and then straightens out.
—v.i.
  1. to bend or double over like a jackknife: The prizefighter jackknifed and fell when he was hit in the stomach.
  2. (of a trailer truck) to have the cab and trailer swivel at the linkage until they form ashape, as the result of an abrupt stop or accident.
  3. (in diving) to perform a jackknife.
  4. to move rapidly at an abrupt angle.
—v.t.
  1. to cause to jackknife: The blow jackknifed the prizefighter.
  2. to cut with a jackknife.
—adj.
  1. resembling a jackknife, as in its shape, function, or manner of opening and folding.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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