Definition of jerry-built in English:


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  • Badly or hastily built with materials of poor quality.

    ‘The works, while clear, are also ambiguous; a number look ramshackle, jerry-built, jumbled - even chaotic.’
    • ‘One friend in the Humvee was already dead from the blast of the jerry-built 90 mm mortar round, and one would die later.’
    • ‘In contrast, say, to the Museum of Scotland, the new parliament building is going up as fast as a block of jerry-built flats.’
    • ‘He explained how ‘Murphy kept driving the jerry-built contraption until the wheels came off.’’
    • ‘The old jerry-built compilation strung together 27 different computer systems worldwide, most of which couldn't talk with the others.’
    • ‘North Korea has the added attraction that its jerry-built missiles are the primary public targets of America's National Missile Defense.’
    • ‘Yet none of this means that the show, endearingly old-fashioned as it is, can be dismissed as jerry-built or, worse yet, geriatric.’
    • ‘The jerry-built result predictably leaves the show dependent on the songs, the production values, and the performers.’
    • ‘Despite the work's jerry-built appearance, it exuded an internal order that is both erudite and sophisticated.’
    • ‘Again due to a housing shortage, the jerry-built houses spread in all directions, especially on the outskirts of Seoul.’
    • ‘The bases are ungainly, jerry-built settings that playfully complement the divalike trees.’
    • ‘Irish football is traditionally ridiculed but it was the side representing Scotland which was lightweight and jerry-built.’
    • ‘The President is not merely proposing to impose his jerry-built system on soldiers captured on the battlefield, however.’
    • ‘The people living in small, jerry-built houses in the adjacent villages were easy victims of the waves.’
    shoddy, badly built, gimcrack, flimsy, insubstantial, rickety, unstable, ramshackle, crude, carelessly built, thrown together, makeshift, defective, faulty, flawed
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/ˈjerēˌbilt/ /ˈdʒɛriˌbɪlt/


Mid 19th century origin unknown; sometimes said to be from the name of a firm of builders in Liverpool, or to allude to the walls of Jericho, which fell down at the sound of Joshua's trumpets (Josh. 6:20).