Jack-in-a-box Jack-in-a-box 1. (Bot.) A tropical tree ({Hernandia sonora}), which bears a drupe that rattles when dry in the inflated calyx. [1913 Webster]

2. A child's toy, consisting of a box, out of which, when the lid is raised, a figure (usually a clown) springs; also called {jack-in-the-box}. [1913 Webster]

3. (Mech.) An epicyclic train of bevel gears for transmitting rotary motion to two parts in such a manner that their relative rotation may be variable; applied to driving the wheels of tricycles, road locomotives, and to cotton machinery, etc.; an equation box; a jack frame; -- called also {compensating gearing}. [1913 Webster]

4. A large wooden screw turning in a nut attached to the crosspiece of a rude press. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • jack-in-the-box — noun (plural jack in the boxes or jacks in the box) Date: 1702 a toy consisting of a small box out of which a figure (as of a clown s head) springs when the lid is raised …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • Jack in the Box (song) — Infobox ESC entry artist = Clodagh Rodgers song = flagicon|United Kingdom Jack in the Box country = United Kingdom year = 1971 as = with = language = English languages = composer = John Worsley lyricist = David Myers conductor = Johnny Arthey… …   Wikipedia

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