Definition of herky-jerky in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈhəːkɪˌdʒəːki/


North American informal
Characterized by or moving in sudden stops and starts: herky-jerky black and white newsreels
More example sentences
  • No point guard has as much body control as Payton, able to throw off opponents with his herky-jerky drives forward and sudden stops.
  • It's a staccato language of enigmatic hand gestures, flailing arms, touching oneself, herky-jerky starts and stops, plunging into space, crashing, spinning, jumping back up.
  • His hands shake constantly; throw in his current addictions to coffee and cigars and you get transport that is, at best, fumbling and herky-jerky, at worst, upside down in a ditch, surrounded by flashing lights.


Late 20th century: reduplication of jerky1.

Words that rhyme with herky-jerky

jerky, mirky, murky, perky, quirky, smirky, turkey

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: herky-jerky

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