Abstract Background Multiple epidemiological studies were conducted amongst a variety of ethnic groups and showed discrepancies in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MeS) and its individual components. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of MeS in Jordan using both the Adult Treatment Panel Guidelines (ATP III) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria. The study also aimed to assess the changes in the prevalence of MeS over time and determine its association with sociodemographic variables. Methods Data from the 2017 Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Survey were used for this study. Socio-demographic and clinical data were collected using a structured questionnaire. Blood samples were taken for biochemical measurements. Furthermore, anthropometric characteristics were measured by the same team of trained field researchers. A sample of 4,056 individuals aged between 18 and 90 years was included in this study. The findings from the 2017 survey were compared with the findings of a 2009 survey that adopted the same methods and procedures. Results According to the IDF criteria, the crude prevalence of Metabolic syndrome was 48.2% (52.9% among men and 46.2% among women; p < 0.001). Using the ATP III criteria, the prevalence was 44.1% (51.4% among men and 41% among women, p < 0.001). The age-standardized prevalence rate of metabolic syndrome was 44% (95% CI 42.7, 45.4) and 39.9% (95% CI 39.6, 41.2), according to both the IDF definition and ATP III criteria, respectively. The Kappa measure of agreement showed excellent agreement between the two definitions (k = 81.9%, p < 0.001). Of all participants, 41.7% met both the IDF and ATP III diagnostic criteria, 6.6% met the IDF criteria only, and 2.5% met the ATP III criteria only. The age-standardized prevalence rate of metabolic syndrome was significantly higher in 2017 (45.7% in men and 44.5% in women) than that in 2009 survey (34.6% in men and 39.8% in women). Gender, age, occupation, region, and marital status were significantly associated with metabolic syndrome. Conclusions The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Jordan is considerably high and it is increasing. Healthy lifestyle programs encouraging appropriate dietary habits and physical activity are strongly recommended in Jordan.