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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
But for quality, the latency-plus-jitter score to beat is again reserved for the Manitobans using Valley Fiber. PCMAG, 19 Dec. 2022 The test provides us your geoIP location, ISP name, download speed, upload speed, jitter, and latency. PCMAG, 19 Dec. 2022 Ever felt your hands jitter uncontrollably after too many shots of espresso? Science & Food, Discover Magazine, 29 Sep. 2015 This can reduce latency to hundreds of microseconds and jitter to near zero. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 15 Nov. 2022 The higher than expected Consumer Price Index reading, which hit a 40-year high of 8.6%, put financial markets in a jitter. Fortune, 11 June 2022 Finally, a precision clock ensures ultra-low jitter rates which reduces errors and distortion in the digital audio signal stage. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2021 However, the objects do not appear to jitter, fluctuate, or change identity from moment to moment. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 15 Feb. 2022 Normal data traffic can withstand brief network slowdowns and occasional packet loss, latency, and network jitter. Neil Mcallister, PCMAG, 2 Feb. 2022
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 See More

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.

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 21 Mar. 2023.

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