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Jump-start is an idiom that came into use in the twentieth century. We will examine the meaning of the idiom jump-start, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Jump-start means to infuse energy into a situation to get the action started. For instance, one may award an internship to a college student to jump-start her career. One may lend money to an someone who wants to start a business to jump-start the business. The expression jump-start came into use after the invention of the automobile. The first definition of the term jump-start meant to provide electricity to a car with a dead battery in order to start the engine. The expression jump-start took on a figurative sense by the 1960s-1970s. Jump-start may be used as a noun or a verb; related terms are jump-starts, jump-started, jump-starting. The Oxford English Dictionary lists the hyphenated form, though the term is also seen rendered as one word, jumpstart, or as two words without a hyphen, jump start.


House Democrats are going back to the drawing board on a huge COVID-19 relief bill, paring back the measure in an attempt to jump-start negotiations with the Trump administration. (The Northwest Herald)

As we begin to approach conversations about “getting back to work,” a robust well-being program is imperative to support your workforce and jump-start your recovery. (Forbes Magazine)

The failed contract negotiations jumpstarted a voluntary annexation of the north side of Darrough Chapel, which included 58 households and 140 residents. (The Kokomo Tribune)