flut·​ter·​ing ˈflə-tər-iŋ How to pronounce fluttering (audio)
plural flutterings
: a quick wavering or flapping movement or sensation
felt a fluttering in his stomach
That's about as small as the perturbation of air produced by the fluttering of a butterfly's wings …Gary Taubes

Examples of fluttering in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When Francis reveals the depth of his devotion to Dale’s music, the saxophonist shakes the younger man’s hand with a fluttering of fingers that has the power of an embrace. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 15 Feb. 2024 The researchers found that females more frequently performed the fluttering, after which the male would usually enter the box first—regardless of which bird was first to arrive at the site. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Mar. 2024 The Quickening is an apt title, calling to mind both the Great Acceleration (the dramatic surge since the mid-twentieth century in human impacts on earth systems) and the moment in pregnancy when a fetus’s fluttering can first be felt in the womb. Emily Raboteau, The New York Review of Books, 1 Nov. 2020 The way Greenwood’s arpeggios bend upward at the end of every line in the first half evokes the intoxication of a lover’s touch; Skinner’s drumming feels more like the fluttering of cilia. Pitchfork, 4 Dec. 2023 His voice was accompanied by the sound of dripping water and the fluttering of bats, which swirled around the ceiling and clicked in the dark. Robert M. Poole, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Oct. 2011 The victim was allegedly alive the entire time, and his last breaths would cause a final fluttering of the lungs, akin to the fluttering of a bird's wings. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 10 Jan. 2022 Herons, nighthawks, pelicans, doves, and owls cool themselves with gular fluttering, a frequent vibration of their throat membranes, which increases airflow and thus increases evaporation. Jeff Goodell, Time, 6 July 2023 And Alexa Torres’s Princess Florine, the Bluebird’s partner, inscribed each movement with joyousness and clean classical lines, infused with a hint of avian fluttering. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 5 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fluttering.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fluttering was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near fluttering

Cite this Entry

“Fluttering.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fluttering. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

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