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[jur-kee] /ˈdʒɜr ki/
adjective, jerkier, jerkiest.
characterized by jerks or sudden starts; spasmodic.
Slang. silly; foolish; stupid; ridiculous.
Origin of jerky1
First recorded in 1855-60; jerk1 + -y1
Related forms
jerkily, adverb
jerkiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for jerkily
Historical Examples
  • Snakily, jerkily, the knotted end traveled upward until it disappeared in the cloud of snow that hid the mountain tops.

    Ross Grant Tenderfoot John Garland
  • Then he staggered back and jerkily brought his arm across his eyes.

    A Virginia Scout Hugh Pendexter
  • Edward Webb was jerkily conversational, Grace was sullen and aggrieved, Theresa had red eyes.

    Yonder Emily Hilda Young
  • "I need to know something about the pigment patches," he said jerkily.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • “I know what you are trying to imply,” Miss Kippenberg said jerkily.

    Danger at the Drawbridge Mildred A. Wirt
  • I pushed with all my might and, slowly and jerkily, the dingy slid off the shoal.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine Joseph C. Lincoln
  • She inhaled it jerkily, as one who is suddenly shocked with a deluge of icy water.

    The Blue Wall Richard Washburn Child
  • “Kicking up a racket in there,” he said jerkily, indicating the parlour.

    The Hound From The North Ridgwell Cullum
  • "Earl, you mustn't mind me when I git in my tantrums," he said jerkily.

    To Alaska for Gold Edward Stratemeyer
  • jerkily he came to the realization that the girl had ceased speaking.

    The Cross-Cut Courtney Ryley Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for jerkily


adjective jerkier, jerkiest
characterized by jerks; spasmodic
Derived Forms
jerkily, adverb
jerkiness, noun


another word for jerk2 (sense 2)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for jerkily



1850, American English, from American Spanish charqui "jerked meat," from Quechua (Inca) ch'arki "dried flesh."


"characterized by jerks," 1858, from jerk (v.1) + -y (2). Related: Jerkily; jerkiness.



"characterized by jerks," 1858, from jerk (v.1) + -y (2). Related: Jerkily; jerkiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for jerkily



Having the traits of a jerk: any jerky Joe (1940s+)

Related Terms


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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