Spasmodic, irregular, and unpredictable, as in movement or manner.

[ Reduplication of jerky.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈhɜr kiˈdʒɜr ki)

progressing in a fitful or jerky manner.
[1955–60; rhyming compound based on jerk1, -y1]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
If not exactly stunt casting, it still feels like pandering; their performance includes a scene set in a disco, where they deliver some of the strikingly original, herky-jerky moves they're famous for -- on dance competition shows, in viral videos and as Beyonce's backup dancers.
After the film, Jackson describes how the film was put together; for example, they found a way to take all the old original herky-jerky films and speed the frames per second up to a modern standard, he even managed to colour the black and white footage.
"But it all came down to general principles: working underneath the ball, presenting the pitch to the best of your ability, and not being too herky-jerky back there."
Its sentences have a peculiar imperative--a herky-jerky necessity that comes close to off-putting but lands on compelling.
What may look like a nice smooth line of steady improvement in per capita GDP growth looks a lot more herky-jerky when you look at the same data in terms of per cent change over the previous year.
The ForTwo is reasonably affordable but is rated below average for depreciation and is among Consumer Reports' lowest-scoring new cars based on its "tiny, two-passenger cabin, a herky-jerky transmission and an under-powered engine," calling the Smart, "a dumb choice."
Levin's conducting gestures looked a little herky-jerky from my perspective, but the Berwick Academy musicians seemed to understand his motions just fine (save for one false entrance in the second movement).
His herky-jerky journey was conducted to a sound-track of car horns.
The use of flashbacks to connect emotional fragments and convey narrative detail can too easily become a screenwriter's crutch, and it will take time for attentive audiences to adjust to the herky-jerky rhythms here.
Farther downstage, a dancer in vaguely Japanese garb (Arikitau Tentau, from the tiny Pacific nation of Kiribati) presented herky-jerky arm positions, a cross between karate and some kind of semaphore signals.
Its herky-jerky says yes, construction of the new 10R/28L is in
The herky-jerky movements become suddenly fluid at times, which is spellbinding.