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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

Examples of jitter in a Sentence

Noun always got the jitters right before a test
Recent Examples on the Web
On Friday, June 28, 2024, the women’s trials started off with lots of jitters and nerves, as expected. Deanna Taylor, Essence, 1 July 2024 From first day jitters to concerns about bullying, going to school can be a major cause of stress. Kimberly Zapata, Parents, 24 June 2024
This means polling averages can change by a few decimal places day to day — and probabilities may jitter by around a point, which cascades down into uncertainty in our model. G. Elliott Morris, ABC News, 11 June 2024 The screen jitters each time righteous bloodshed crosses Deva’s mind. Siddhant Adlakha, Variety, 22 Dec. 2023 See all Example Sentences for jitter 

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 25 Jul. 2024.

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