jit·​ter | \ ˈji-tər How to pronounce jitter (audio) \

Definition of jitter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 jitters\ ˈji-​tərz How to pronounce jitter (audio) \ plural : a sense of panic or extreme nervousness had a bad case of the jitters before his performance
2 : the state of mind or the movement of one that jitters
3 : irregular random movement (as of a pointer or an image on a television screen) also : vibratory motion


jittered; jittering; jitters

Definition of jitter (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make continuous fast repetitive movements
2 : to be nervous or act in a nervous way

Examples of jitter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There’s also a precision clock system to ensure ultra-low jitter, thereby reducing errors and distortion in the digital audio signal. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 The new line features two gummies: the Energy provides a jitter-free buzz with L-theanine and green tea leaf extract, while the six milligrams of melatonin in the Sleep formula encourage sleep. Anna Haines, Forbes, 28 Oct. 2021 However, Wi-Fi 7 isn’t expected to be available until roughly 2023 or 2024, and that’s a long time for online gamers looking for latency and jitter relief to wait. Anshel Sag, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 Also trickling down from the Masters Series is the ESS Sabre ES9028 high-resolution DAC, a chip that’s noted for its wide dynamic range, ultra-low noise and distortion, plus near-zero levels of clock jitter. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 His game Saturday was bold, confident, jitter-free. BostonGlobe.com, 18 Sep. 2021 That leaves 15% who experienced recurring jitter or lags or freezes. Tom Gillis, Forbes, 22 June 2021 Having to hairpin cloud traffic through the enterprise data center — sometimes hundreds of miles away — can add latency, jitter and packet drops, which can significantly degrade the user experience. Abe Ankumah, Forbes, 16 June 2021 Any nitrogen evaporation would have changed the tumbling period of ‘Oumuamua and caused jitter, well beyond the observed limits. Avi Loeb, Scientific American, 19 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The shadow of the new coronavirus finally reached American shores this week, as markets jittered downward and new cases crept up. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, 28 Feb. 2020 Earlier, jitters over the global economic outlook weighed on Asian trading. San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Oct. 2019 The bad news is that latency is a lot higher, and controller position jittered a lot while moving, especially at high speeds. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, 9 Nov. 2018 Tracking was generally good, but objects occasionally shifted or jittered. Adi Robertson, The Verge, 8 Aug. 2018 This happens all the time but, in Riley's composition, the periodic black and white edges are jittered in a way that generates apparent motion. Daniel Glaser, A-LIST, 1 July 2018 Sure enough, the more the eyes jittered, the stronger the effect. Daniel Glaser, A-LIST, 1 July 2018 The fragility of investors’ appetite for Greek debt was shown in recent weeks when market jitters over Italy also led to a rise in Greek bond yields. Nektaria Stamouli, WSJ, 22 June 2018 Jones said this is not the first time in recent months that jitters over growing nuclear tensions have boosted sales of potassium iodide, which comes in tablet and liquid form and should be taken within hours of exposure to radiation. NBC News, 11 Jan. 2018

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


1929, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1931, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for jitter


origin unknown

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Last Updated

8 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jitter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jitter. Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on jitter

Nglish: Translation of jitter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jitter for Arabic Speakers


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