: characterized by sudden, irregular, or unpredictable movement or style

Examples of herky-jerky in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While there are some harder throwers in the system, the Rangers have been impressed by the 25-year old’s fastball-slider combination, a herky-jerky delivery and a fastball that appears to be on a jet stream moving up to the batter’s eyes. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 31 May 2023 Today just seemed a little herky-jerky, a little out of character, out of tempo and rhythm. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 22 Apr. 2023 Showtime’s Yellowjackets, which premieres its second season opposite the fourth and final season of Succession, is a series with herky-jerky mechanics. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Mar. 2023 In-betweeners don’t get the glory, but without them cartoons would be herky-jerky, lurching from angry pout to swaggering declaration with nothing smoothing the transition. Susan Orlean, The New Yorker, 14 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'herky-jerky.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


reduplication of jerky

First Known Use

1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of herky-jerky was in 1890

Dictionary Entries Near herky-jerky

Cite this Entry

“Herky-jerky.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herky-jerky. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

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