dither

verb
dith·​er | \ ˈdi-t͟hər How to pronounce dither (audio) \
dithered; dithering\ ˈdi-​t͟h(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce dither (audio) \

Definition of dither

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : shiver, tremble the dithering of grass— Wallace Stevens
2 : to act nervously or indecisively : vacillate dithering about what to do next There's no time to dither.

dither

noun

Definition of dither (Entry 2 of 2)

: a highly nervous, excited, or agitated state : excitement, confusion The news of her arrival had us all in a dither.

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Other Words from dither

Verb

ditherer \ ˈdi-​t͟hər-​ər How to pronounce dither (audio) \ noun

Noun

dithery \ ˈdi-​t͟hə-​rē How to pronounce dither (audio) \ adjective

Examples of dither in a Sentence

Verb We don't have time to dither. She did not dither about what to do next. Noun Grandma usually gets in a dither if I don't make my weekly call. we were all in a dither while we waited for the test results
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Even when engineers find dangerous damage, condo associations can dither for years. Lisa J. Huriash, sun-sentinel.com, 11 July 2021 And while news organizations dither, the Big Lie continues to spread. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 5 May 2021 The propulsion system was less efficient than expected, but the Coast Guard refused to dither. Craig Hooper, Forbes, 4 Mar. 2021 That review window moves: Whenever lawmakers dither in D.C., the CRA review period for their successors gets later on the calendar. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 25 Dec. 2020 While governments dither, though, climate commitments and action by corporations has gained considerable momentum since Paris. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, 10 Dec. 2020 Approving federal judges is a priority for Mitch McConnell during the lame-duck session of Congress, but Republicans shouldn’t dither on confirming Nathan Simington to the Federal Communications Commission. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 17 Nov. 2020 As firms dither, the $30trn global commercial-property market is stalked by fears of a deeper slump. The Economist, 12 Sep. 2020 As Congress continues to dither over renewal of the federal Paycheck Protection Program, many, Rossman said, are at or near the end of their resiliency. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fishing might well represent a tiny fragment of the U.K. economy, but did that mean it should not have been protected, even at the cost of dither and delay and, even, perhaps, the freedom of other industries? Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 24 Dec. 2020 Those with intercollegiate athletic programs are in a dither figuring out what will happen to NCAA games, especially football, which is key to the identify of many universities and finances other sports at the largest schools. Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY, 5 July 2020 As Washington dithers and fights, Bexar County commissioners are taking swift action, creating a $5 million loan and grant program to help small businesses hurt by the coronavirus. Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, ExpressNews.com, 24 Mar. 2020 While the Trump administration dithers and argues with Congress and trips over its own feet, the Federal Reserve has moved decisively to counteract the economic impacts of the coronavirus. Jeff Spross, TheWeek, 12 Mar. 2020 In a city short on space and high on need for homeless services, there’s no more time to dither. Heather Knight, SFChronicle.com, 24 Jan. 2020 As global warming becomes direr – and nations dither about decreasing emissions – could these controversial technological fixes known as geoengineering buy us time to move away from burning fossil fuels? USA Today, 24 Dec. 2019 Mr Johnson himself argued forcefully against any further dither or delay. The Economist, 3 Oct. 2019 To keep migrants comfortable while Democrats in Congress dither on humanitarian aid, the Trump Admin bought bedroom furniture from Wayfair. NBC News, 26 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dither.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dither

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1819, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dither

Verb

variant of didder in same sense (with [dr̥] > [ðr̥] as in father entry 1, gather entry 1), going back to Middle English dideren "to tremble, shiver," of imitative origin

Noun

derivative of dither entry 1

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Time Traveler for dither

Time Traveler

The first known use of dither was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near dither

dithematic

dither

dithi-

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Statistics for dither

Last Updated

20 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dither.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dither. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for dither

dither

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dither

 (Entry 1 of 2)

informal : to delay taking action because you are not sure about what to do

dither

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dither (Entry 2 of 2)

informal : a very nervous, confused, or excited state

dither

noun
dith·​er | \ ˈdi-t͟hər How to pronounce dither (audio) \

Kids Definition of dither

: a very nervous or excited state The bride's parents were all in a dither.

More from Merriam-Webster on dither

Nglish: Translation of dither for Spanish Speakers

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