• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Jack-in-a-box 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.
    • Jack-in-a-box A large wooden screw turning in a nut attached to the crosspiece of a rude press.
    • Jack-in-a-box (Bot) A tropical tree (Hernandia sonora), which bears a drupe that rattles when dry in the inflated calyx.
    • Jack-in-a-box (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.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The average number of peanuts in a box of Cracker Jacks is 27.
    • n jack-in-a-box A kind of toy, consisting of a box out of which, when the lid is unfastened, a figure springs.
    • n jack-in-a-box A street peddler who sells his wares from a temporary stall or box.
    • n jack-in-a-box A gambling sport in which some article placed on a stick set upright in a hole is pitched at with sticks. If the article when struck falls clear of the hole, the thrower wins.
    • n jack-in-a-box Same as jack-frame.
    • n jack-in-a-box A screw-jack used to raise and stow cargo.
    • n jack-in-a-box A large wooden male screw turning in a female screw, which forms the upper part of a strong wooden box. It is used, by means of levers passing through it, as a press in packing, and for other purposes.
    • n jack-in-a-box A plant of the genus Hernandia (H. Sonora), which bears a large nut that rattles in its pericarp when shaken.
    • n jack-in-a-box A hermit-crab, as Eupagurus pollicaris: so called by fishermen.
    • n jack-in-a-box A very small but powerful sorew-jack used by burglars to force locks, particularly to pull the spindle of a combination lock from the door.
    • n jack-in-a-box A device for holding the tool on a planing-machine in position while cutting.
    • n jack-in-a-box In Australia, same as hairtrigger-flower. Also called trigger-plant. See hairtrigger-ftower and Stylidium.
    • ***


In literature:

If the man had been a Jack-in-the-box he could not have leaped more quickly round.
"Fast in the Ice" by R.M. Ballantyne
Like a jack-in-the-box, two small white plastic spheres popped out and began chasing each other about in the air six inches above the box.
"PRoblem" by Alan Edward Nourse
But Uncle Bentley shot up like a jack-in-a-box and cantered down the aisle.
"The Wit and Humor of America, Volume X (of X)" by Various
Sergeant Jimmy Bagby kept bobbing up and down like a pudgy jack-in-the-box that is slightly stiff in its joints.
"The Escape of Mr. Trimm" by Irvin S. Cobb
Like a jack-in-the-box, Father came up out of the hay to greet her.
"The Innocents" by Sinclair Lewis
That evening Jack found a letter in his box which had been mailed early that morning at Haven Point.
"The Rover Boys at Big Horn Ranch" by Edward Stratemeyer
My man on the bed popped with the agility of a jack-in-the-box for the window.
"Desert Dust" by Edwin L. Sabin
Emma, half-fainting with terror, nevertheless walked on, and a man stepped out of the tub like a Jack-in-the-box.
"Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert
She was one of the "Jack-in-the-Box" girls in a big New York production.
"What's-His-Name" by George Barr McCutcheon
Uncle Jack held up his hands in amazement, and then sat down on a packing-box and laughed till the tears ran down his cheeks.
"Five Mice in a Mouse-trap" by Laura E. Richards

In news:

The Jack in the Box $4.29 Jumbo Deal, featuring a hamburger, two tacos, French fries and a soda.
Garth's solo career was shot out of the stage floor like a jack-in-the-box.
Gold VIX Is Like a Jack-in-the-Box .
Peter Manley clean up following a car fire Monday afternoon in the Safeway shopping center parking lot adjacent to Jack in the Box.
Local ownership is giving a local look (and taste) to the Bishop Square Jack in the Box, with plans to expand the concept.
Bacon milkshake is available for a limited time as part of from Jack in the Box's new 'marry bacon' ad campaign.
This is one from Jack In The Box that has what it takes to make it a Super Bowl commercial, but fell short by not actually airing during the Super Bowl.
Before you get too excited that a new burger joint is coming to OUR town, you should know that Jack In The Box is coming this part of the state just yet.
The San Francisco Jack In the Box, where a CAL FIRE firefighter was critically injured by a hit and run driver, was granted an extended hours permit.
The fast-food chain Jack in the Box has applied for zoning approval to build a new restaurant near 16th and Meridian streets, just south of CVS.
685 (Previous rank: 694) Compare tool: Jack in the Box vs Top 10 CEO: Linda A Lang Address: 9330 Balboa Ave San Diego, CA 92123 Phone: 858-571-2121 Website: www.jackinthebox.com.
Sacramento police said an armed man who held two women hostage inside a Jack in the Box restaurant was shot and killed, and the women have been released unharmed.
Sacramento police say an armed man who held two women hostage inside a Jack in the Box restaurant has been shot and the women have been released unharmed.
Sacramento police said all hostages held at a Jack in the Box restaurant are safe after the suspect was shot.
Now fast food chain Jack in the Box is riding to the rescue, introducing a new artificially-flavored bacon milkshake .