flutter

verb
flut·​ter | \ ˈflə-tər \
fluttered; fluttering; flutters

Definition of flutter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to flap the wings rapidly butterflies fluttering among the flowers
2a : to move with quick wavering or flapping motions a sail fluttering in the wind
b : to vibrate in irregular spasms his heart fluttered
3 : to move about or behave in an agitated aimless manner She nervously fluttered around the office.

transitive verb

: to cause to flutter The bird was fluttering its wings.

flutter

noun

Definition of flutter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of fluttering
2a : a state of nervous confusion or excitement
c : abnormal spasmodic fluttering of a body part treatment of atrial flutter
3a : a distortion in reproduced sound similar to but of a higher pitch than wow
b : fluctuation in the brightness of a television image
4 : an unwanted oscillation (as of an aileron or a bridge) set up by natural forces
5 chiefly British : a small speculative venture or gamble

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Other Words from flutter

Verb

flutterer \ ˈflə-​tər-​ər \ noun
fluttery \ ˈflə-​tər-​ē \ adjective

Synonyms for flutter

Synonyms: Verb

dance, dart, flick, flicker, flirt, flit, flitter, zip

Synonyms: Noun

burst, flare, flare-up, flash, flicker, flurry, outbreak, outburst, spurt

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Examples of flutter in a Sentence

Verb

The bird was fluttering its wings. The bird's wings were fluttering. We watched the butterflies fluttering in the garden. Leaves fluttered to the ground. The breeze made the curtains flutter. The breeze fluttered the curtains. She fluttered her eyelashes at him. She nervously fluttered around the office.

Noun

With a flutter of wings, the birds settled into the nest. The flutter of the flame cast shadows on the ceiling. He was in a flutter until he found his keys. The news of her resignation caused quite a flutter. have a flutter on a horse in the second race
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Yu Darvish could be undefeated with a microscopic ERA, and the sight of Jake Arrieta back at Wrigley Field in a different uniform would cause a Cubs fan’s heart to flutter. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Jake Arrieta, returning to Wrigley Field with Phillies, transformed Cubs into a team to be feared," 4 June 2018 Zhao eased through his high-flying beats and gliding brisés volés; Kuranaga preened and fluttered with her usual exquisite grace. Jeffrey Gantz, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Ballet reawakens ‘Sleeping Beauty’," 12 May 2018 Start at La Riviere Park, a 300-acre nature park fluttering with lark sparrows, Carolina wren and scarlet tanager. Travel Wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two Days to Explore / Prairie du Chien," 13 Apr. 2018 No more uncomfortable heart flutters or annoying jitters that typically accompany a coffee binge. Kayla Keegan, Redbook, "7 Reasons You Need More Matcha in Your Life," 27 Mar. 2015 The feathers fluttered down the catwalk and, in a second, stole the spotlight from the rest of the outfit. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "7 Shoe Trends of 2019 You're Going to Want to Pay Attention To," 7 Jan. 2019 Garland struck again at 6:34 of the second, when a shot from the slot deflected off Kevin Shattenkirk’s stick and fluttered past Lundqvist. Jack Magruder, The Seattle Times, "Garland, Kuemper help Coyotes beat Rangers 5-0," 6 Jan. 2019 Ahead of us, the plain was an ocean of silver grasses fluttering toward a distant horizon. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 On the morning of November 8, Jenkins watched as the sky turned orange, and embers and ash fluttered around her house in Paradise. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The Paradise fire is catastrophic. And the wildfire threat to California is only growing.," 17 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Here, there, a flash, a flutter, an ecstasy of shrillings remind us that not all the birds have flown south. Danny Heitman, WSJ, "An Ode to Holiday Companionship," 21 Dec. 2018 Photo: dado ruvic/Reuters Political wagers remain a small part of the £14.4 billion U.K. gambling industry, which is dominated by people having a flutter on sports like soccer and horse-racing. Avantika Chilkoti, WSJ, "What Betting Markets Have to Say About Brexit," 24 Dec. 2018 As ballot boxes were brought into the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, the only noise was the flutter of votes being tallied, recalls Andrew Mitchell, a local Conservative MP. The Economist, "Local elections may show a reconfiguration of British politics," 26 Apr. 2018 Listen to the chirps, whirs and flutter of the creatures that still stir and witness the night-blooming plants. Sonja Haller, azcentral, "Best kids things to do in Phoenix in July: Splash pad parties, shark feeds and free fun," 28 June 2018 Listen to the chirps, whirs and flutter of the creatures that still stir and witness the night-blooming plants. Sonja Haller, azcentral, "Best kids things to do in Phoenix this June: Westgate, Phoenix Art Museum, movie nights," 1 June 2018 Listen to the chirps, whirs and flutter of the creatures that still stir and witness the night-blooming plants. Sonja Haller, azcentral, "Best kids things to do in Phoenix this June: Westgate, Phoenix Art Museum, movie nights," 1 June 2018 Delirious sounds pumping out of a Farfisa organ flutter and spin around a droning backbeat. Travis M. Andrews, chicagotribune.com, "Forty years ago, 'Rock Lobster' launched the career of the B-52s — and revived John Lennon's," 6 Apr. 2018 These drugs were Sutent and Inlyta, which both treat renal cell carcinoma, and Tikosyn, which treats arrhythmia in patients with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pfizer agrees to pay nearly $24M for illegally using a charity to pay kickbacks to Medicare patients," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flutter.' 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 flutter

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for flutter

Verb and Noun

Middle English floteren to float, flutter, from Old English floterian, frequentative of flotian to float; akin to Old English flēotan to float — more at fleet

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Statistics for flutter

Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flutter

The first known use of flutter was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for flutter

flutter

verb

English Language Learners Definition of flutter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move or flap the wings quickly without flying
: to fly lightly with quick beats of the wings
: to move with quick, light movements

flutter

noun

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

: a quick, light movement
: a state of excitement or confusion
British, informal : a small bet

flutter

verb
flut·​ter | \ ˈflə-tər \
fluttered; fluttering

Kids Definition of flutter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move the wings rapidly without flying or in making short flights Butterflies fluttered over the garden.
2 : to move with a quick flapping motion Flags fluttered in the wind.
3 : to move about excitedly Salesclerks fluttered about the store.

flutter

noun

Kids Definition of flutter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of moving or flapping quickly a flutter of wings
2 : a state of excitement The contestants were all in a flutter.

flutter

noun
flut·​ter | \ ˈflət-ər \

Medical Definition of flutter

: an abnormal rapid spasmodic and usually rhythmic motion or contraction of a body part diaphragmatic flutter affected with ventricular flutter

Other Words from flutter

flutter intransitive verb

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Comments on flutter

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