jankier; jankiest
: of very poor quality : junky
… most of the vehicles on Bismuth were janky unregistered pick-ups that reeked of fish water.Corwin Ericson
also : not functioning properly or adequately : faulty
Hahn was incredibly down-to-earth in her normal-looking home with her somewhat janky Wi-Fi. Chris Murphy
"My family had medical debt, because we live in the jankiest medical system in the developed world." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Examples of janky in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The movie looks downright janky at times, and not in a charming way. Michael Nordine, Variety, 7 Mar. 2024 The truly janky bits Heybike pegs the Tyson's range at 55 miles on pedal assist, and the battery can get a full charge in four to five hours. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, 6 Oct. 2023 That oversight — a result of three different employees’ failure to check two boxes that were part of a workaround within Citi’s janky software — led to more than two years of litigation between the bank and the lenders. Allison Morrow, CNN, 14 Feb. 2024 The extra-wide, side-by-side screens give off major Microsoft Surface Duo vibes, just without the janky software. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 13 July 2023 If hundreds of thousands of people are willing to buy and play this janky, generic-looking, possibly ethically and legally dubious survival crafting game, there has to be at least some appetite for an official version using the Pokémon franchise's stable of 1,000+ catchable creatures. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 23 Jan. 2024 Now, obviously, physical media have their downsides too, as anyone who’s ever sworn at a janky CD or DVD player will attest—amusingly, the most recent X post from the official PlayStation North America support account is about PS5 disc troubleshooting, rather than yesterday’s disc-free disaster. David Meyer, Fortune, 5 Dec. 2023 This janky system is a catastrophe — a team with an aging stadium in a part of Maryland that’s a mile away from a Metro station — that Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) is fighting to keep and improve, and both D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) are angling to get. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 4 Dec. 2023 The flood of YouTube obituary videos is a janky update on this practice. WIRED, 22 Sep. 2023

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

Word History


of uncertain origin

Note: Early records of the word indicate an origin in African-American speech. Oxford English Dictionary, third edition, hypothesizes that it represents "a regional, affected, or colloquial pronunciation of junky entry 1." According to Clarence Major, in Juba to Jive: A Dictionary of African-American Slang (New York, 1994), it is "probably a variant of jinxed" (see jinx entry 2).

First Known Use

1989, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of janky was in 1989

Dictionary Entries Near janky

Cite this Entry

“Janky.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/janky. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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