1 of 2


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


2 of 2


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
Despite her experience, the prospect of stepping onto the set of a series as big as Bridgerton gave her jitters. Kalia Richardson, Rolling Stone, 18 May 2024 As in Los Angeles, work has been slow to return since the new labor deals were signed in the fall, creating some jitters in an industry that accounts for 6.5% of New York’s economy. Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times, 15 May 2024
The screen jitters each time righteous bloodshed crosses Deva’s mind. Siddhant Adlakha, Variety, 22 Dec. 2023 Markets gonna jitter a bit. Erik Sherman, Forbes, 19 May 2021 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 15 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on jitter

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!