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Ja"cob (?), n. [Cf. F. Jacob. See 2d Jack.] A Hebrew patriarch (son of Isaac, and ancestor of the Jews), who in a vision saw a ladder reaching up to heaven (Gen. xxviii. 12); -- also called Israel.
And Jacob said . . . with my staff I passed over this Jordan, and now I am become two bands. Gen. xxxii. 9, 10.
Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel. Gen. xxxii. 28.
Jacob's ladder. (a) (Bot.) A perennial herb of the genus Polemonium (Polemonium cœruleum), having corymbs of drooping flowers, usually blue. Gray. (b) (Naut.) A rope ladder, with wooden steps, for going aloft. R. H. Dana, Jr. (c) (Naut.) A succession of short cracks in a defective spar. -- Jacob's membrane. See Retina. -- Jacob's staff. (a) A name given to many forms of staff or weapon, especially in the Middle Ages; a pilgrim's staff. [Obs.] Spenser. (b) (Surveying) See under Staff.