dither

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

Noun

dithery \ ˈdi-​t͟hə-​rē How to pronounce dithery (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 Another prosecutor, David Kent, quit last summer as DOJ dithered over the decision on whether to prosecute. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged?," 15 Feb. 2020 But instead of then immediately announcing who would take over the armband, the former PSG coach dithered for two months and eventually put it to a players' vote. SI.com, "Why the Granit Xhaka Captaincy Saga Proves Unai Emery Isn't the Man for Arsenal," 6 Nov. 2019 Now Khimyah was dithering between a dark-blue and a hot-pink winter jacket. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, "‘Now that looks fun, doesn’t it?’ Thousands of D.C. children get glad tidings — and gifts," 21 Dec. 2019 But Congress dithered, waiting for instructions from its leadership in Delhi. The Economist, "Political drama has gripped the home state of Bollywood," 29 Nov. 2019 Be a discriminating buyer, but don't waste too much time dithering over the details. Magi Helena, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Dec. 19, 2019: Gemini, inspire others; Leo, job pressures interfere with holiday plans," 19 Dec. 2019 Even after the jihadists of Islamic State were pushed off their territory two years ago, the government dithered over rebuilding. The Economist, "Protests in Iraq are met with violence," 31 Oct. 2019 American officials, fearful of upending trade negotiations, have dithered over a response. The Economist, "America blacklists China’s best artificial-intelligence firms," 10 Oct. 2019 British Steel exports more than half of its product, and overseas customers have doubtless been unsettled by Britain’s dithering over leaving the European Union. Chris Bryant | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Who’s to Blame for the British Steel Collapse?," 22 May 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In a city short on space and high on need for homeless services, there’s no more time to dither. Heather Knight, SFChronicle.com, "SF says no thanks to free housing for homeless on vacant Tenderloin lot," 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, "10 years to save planet Earth: Here are 6 imaginative climate change solutions," 24 Dec. 2019 Mr Johnson himself argued forcefully against any further dither or delay. The Economist, "Boris Johnson makes the EU an offer it can refuse," 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, "Wayfair workers walkout to protest company's furniture sale to migrant detention center," 26 June 2019 Instead, he and scriptwriter Taylor Sheridan (who wrote the original) dither away into subplots, including one that is ludicrously contrived and seems designed to continue the franchise. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Sicario’ sequel straddles the border," 28 June 2018 Followers have long suspected that Bey at the very least would release new music before the tour was over, so the arrival announcement promptly sent the internet into a dither. refinery29.com, "You Are Not Beyoncé. You Do Not Want To Get Paid Only In Equity.," 18 June 2018 In some ways that's a relief; you won't be tempted to dither. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Google's New Tasks App Keeps Your To-Do List Front and Center," 25 Apr. 2018 Manchester United are the only club to have made an approach for Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski while Real Madrid dither according to Kicker in Germany. SI.com, "German Report Claims Man Utd Have Made Approach for Bayern Star as Real Madrid Drop Interest," 12 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for dither

Last Updated

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dither.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dither. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for dither

dither

verb
How to pronounce dither (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dither

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dither

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dither

Spanish Central: Translation of dither

Nglish: Translation of dither for Spanish Speakers

Comments on dither

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