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jit·​ter ˈji-tər How to pronounce jitter (audio)
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
: the state of mind or the movement of one that jitters
: irregular random movement (as of a pointer or an image on a television screen)
also : vibratory motion


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jittered; jittering; jitters

intransitive verb

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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Nation/World Published: 9 hours ago SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea’s launch of a spy satellite on Wednesday ended in an embarrassing failure, but still prompted public confusion and security jitters in neighboring South Korea and Japan, which are wary of the North’s growing weapons arsenal. Hyung-jin Kim, Kim Tong-hyung And Johnson Lai, Anchorage Daily News, 31 May 2023 The potential of more regional bank failures is spooking investors Market jitters have swept across the banking sector following PacWest’s stock tumble. Julia Malleck, Quartz, 4 May 2023 The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the 10th consecutive meeting Wednesday but signaled those hikes might be done — thanks in part to jitters in the banking system. Brian Cheung, NBC News, 3 May 2023 Other data suggesting a slowdown in manufacturing has added to market jitters. Caitlin Mccabe, WSJ, 6 Apr. 2023 The recent failure of Signature Bank and SVB triggered the biggest banking crisis since 2008 and stoked heavy volatility in the sector, worsening existing jitters of an imminent recession. Reuters, CNN, 5 Apr. 2023 Even after two weeks of aggressive government action to shore up the banking system, jitters remain about its safety after high-profile bank failures. Jeanna Smialek, BostonGlobe.com, 21 Mar. 2023 To ease Lawson’s jitters, Richie guided him through the ballad with gestures and words of encouragement. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, 20 Mar. 2023 Still, investors are worried that there’s another shoe to drop, and that’s sparked jitters in the market. Krystal Hur, CNN, 14 May 2023
Markets gonna jitter a bit. Erik Sherman, Forbes, 19 May 2021 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 See More

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

Word History



origin unknown

First Known Use


1929, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1931, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of jitter was in 1929

Dictionary Entries Near jitter

Cite this Entry

“Jitter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jitter. Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

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