twitch

1 of 3

verb

twitched; twitching; twitches

intransitive verb

1
: to move jerkily : quiver
2
: to undergo a brief spasmodic muscular contraction
his hand twitched
3
: pull, pluck
twitched at my sleeve

transitive verb

: to move or pull with a sudden motion : jerk
twitcher noun

twitch

2 of 3

noun (1)

1
a
: a brief spasmodic contraction of the muscle fibers
b
: a slight jerk of a body part
2
: an act of twitching
especially : a short sudden pull or jerk
3
: a physical or mental pang
a twitch of remorse
4
: a loop of rope or strap that is tightened over a horse's lip as a restraining device
twitchily adverb

twitch

3 of 3

noun (2)

Examples of twitch in a Sentence

Verb Her mouth was twitching as she began to cry. The rabbit twitched its ears.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
In the book, Smith writes that he was hooked on fishing since the first time a fishing rod twitched in his hands. Steve Waters, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 The time was right for a hit series with twitching legs, and AMC’s durable franchise seized the day. Chris Vognar, Rolling Stone, 10 Sep. 2023 Similarly, like domestic cats, a mountain lion might twitch or lash its tail when agitated or preparing to pounce. Craig Caudill, Field & Stream, 14 Feb. 2024 His hands twitch in anticipation of taking the football. Matt Barrows, Sacramento Bee, 30 Jan. 2024 Her exoskeleton was slick with sweat, and her stinger was twitching in time with Bruno Mars. Simon Rich, The New Yorker, 15 Jan. 2024 The knee twitched a time or two but not enough to get Paxton out of his rhythm. Peter Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, 30 June 2023 Traditionally, electron accelerators boost their projectiles by shooting them through metallic cavities, typically made from copper, that contain twitching electromagnetic fields. Rahul Rao, Popular Science, 2 Nov. 2023 Muscles begin to twitch involuntarily, progressing to violent spasms and seizures. Stephen C. George, Discover Magazine, 3 Oct. 2023
Noun
Every face twitch and arm gesticulation conveys Terry’s complete exasperation with everything and everyone in his world. Murtada Elfadl, Variety, 23 Jan. 2024 Both stillness and smooth movement would have been hampered by tremors, twitches and balance issues. Bridget Alex, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Mar. 2024 While the original series was a comedy, showcasing Samantha’s efforts to be an average housewife, who just happened to be able to make magic with an adorable nose twitch, the reboot is rumored to be a drama, according to Deadline. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, 17 Feb. 2024 Even subtle twitches, however, create a burst of flash thanks to the high chrome finish and holographic decals. Joe Cermele, Field & Stream, 4 Jan. 2024 This unique formulation aids in optimizing the transmission of neurological messages to various parts of the body, alleviating painful muscle contractions, twitches, spasms, and other forms of temporary shaking. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 12 June 2023 That transcends all the quick twitch, the X-factor stuff, all that stuff. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 13 Jan. 2024 When the e-skin was touched, nerve cells began firing in the rat’s brain, triggering leg twitches. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 July 2023 To get a proper diagnosis, people often need to spend the night in a hospital, where they get covered in electrodes that measure their heart rate, breathing, muscle twitches, and brain activity: a comprehensive evaluation called polysomnography. Celia Ford, WIRED, 7 Dec. 2023

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English twicchen; akin to Old English twiccian to pluck, Old High German gizwickan to pinch

Noun (2)

alteration of quitch

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun (1)

circa 1523, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1595, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of twitch was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near twitch

Cite this Entry

“Twitch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/twitch. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

twitch

1 of 2 verb
1
: to move or pull with a sudden motion : jerk
2
3
: to undergo a brief muscular contraction
his hand twitched

twitch

2 of 2 noun
1
: an act of twitching
2
a
: a brief contraction of muscle fibers
b
: a slight jerk of a body part

Medical Definition

twitch

1 of 3 intransitive verb
: to undergo a brief spasmodic muscular contraction
the muscle twitched

twitch

2 of 3 noun
: a brief spasmodic contraction of muscle fibers
also : a slight jerk of a body part caused by such a contraction

twitch

3 of 3 noun

More from Merriam-Webster on twitch

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