flutter

1 of 2

verb

flut·​ter ˈflə-tər How to pronounce flutter (audio)
fluttered; fluttering; flutters

intransitive verb

1
: to flap the wings rapidly
butterflies fluttering among the flowers
2
a
: 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.
flutterer noun
fluttery adjective

flutter

2 of 2

noun

1
: an act of fluttering
2
a
: a state of nervous confusion or excitement
c
: abnormal spasmodic fluttering of a body part
treatment of atrial flutter
3
a
: 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

Example Sentences

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Iridescent butterflies flutter around them, creating the walls and ceiling right before their eyes. Calie Schepp, EW.com, 24 Sep. 2022 As the two stars bond over moving on from drama, the drums keep pumping and the harmonies flutter in and out, resulting in a rhythmic and irresistible showcase. Jason Lipshutz, Billboard, 30 Sep. 2022 Ken Beyer can’t think of a day in the past few months when his phone didn’t flutter with calls, text messages and emails from a police department, a sheriff’s office or a fire station seeking help for an employee. Katja Ridderbusch, Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2022 Atop a simple ivory linen cloth, butterflies flutter on porcelain salad and dinner plates that set the table's palette. Krissa Rossbund, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 July 2022 Another day, another Megan Thee Stallion manicure that makes our hearts flutter — this time literally. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 19 July 2022 This spring in the East Village, blue and yellow flags flutter in the breeze. New York Times, 3 June 2022 The Cup, for those whose hearts don’t flutter at its mere mention, is the giant silver chalice that is awarded each spring to the winner of the National Hockey League championship. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, 16 May 2022 The giant, two-toned sequins flutter in the wind and shimmer in the sun so that the piece changes dimensions throughout the day. Los Angeles Times, 9 June 2022
Noun
Yellow, red, and orange leaves flutter in the wind and settle on the ground, creating a layer of softness. Lisa Jhung, Outside Online, 16 Nov. 2022 With each swing, a flutter of hope crested, and manager Brandon Hyde would be asked to analyze the intricacies of each. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 11 June 2022 This park features a buttercup, misty mountain, ground spray, three ants, corn poppy, flutter, morning cross and three surf stones. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, 26 May 2022 And that familiar feeling comes over her, the flutter in the stomach, the quickening heart. Dan Horn, The Enquirer, 14 Feb. 2022 Romance ensues, to the flutter of viewers' hearts the world over. Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 1 Nov. 2022 Whatever the case, these romantic love messages are ideal for sending to your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, partner, or anyone else who makes your heart flutter. Corinne Sullivan, Woman's Day, 31 Aug. 2022 As the tiny specimen’s leaves flutter in the air, the drone descends and delivers it directly to researchers waiting below. Susan Cosier, Scientific American, 12 Oct. 2022 Those who love the outdoors will revel in the beauty of the black oaks at higher elevations that will begin to change color and flutter to the ground when touched by a gentle autumn breeze. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near flutter

Cite this Entry

“Flutter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flutter. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

flutter

1 of 2 verb
flut·​ter ˈflət-ər How to pronounce flutter (audio)
1
: to move or cause the wings to move rapidly without flying or in short flights
butterflies flutter
2
: to move with quick wavering or flapping motions
flags fluttered in the breeze
3
: to move about or behave in an excited aimless manner
fluttery adjective

flutter

2 of 2 noun
1
: an act of fluttering
2
3
: an unsteadiness of pitch in reproduced sound

Medical Definition

flutter

noun
flut·​ter ˈflət-ər How to pronounce flutter (audio)
: an abnormal rapid spasmodic and usually rhythmic motion or contraction of a body part
diaphragmatic flutter
affected with ventricular flutter
flutter intransitive verb

More from Merriam-Webster on flutter

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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