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dither

[dihth -er] /ˈdɪð ər/
noun
1.
a trembling; vibration.
2.
a state of flustered excitement or fear.
verb (used without object)
3.
to act irresolutely; vacillate.
4.
North England. to tremble with excitement or fear.
Origin of dither
late Middle English
1640-1650
1640-50; variant of didder (late Middle English diddere); cf. dodder1
Related forms
ditherer, noun
dithery, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dithering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I'm all dithering," panted Hattie, as Winnie pushed her forward to try first.

  • And the white-livered accomplice is dithering with funk in there.

    Ambrotox and Limping Dick Oliver Fleming
  • A man will no' keep on dithering for what he kens he canna' get.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • His voice caught in a tight knot of strangulation; he was dithering and palsied.

    Just Around the Corner Fannie Hurst
  • Presently he came running out of the scullery, with the soapy water dripping from him, dithering with cold.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
British Dictionary definitions for dithering

dither

/ˈdɪðə/
verb (intransitive)
1.
(mainly Brit) to be uncertain or indecisive
2.
(mainly US) to be in an agitated state
3.
to tremble, as with cold
noun
4.
(mainly Brit) a state of indecision
5.
a state of agitation
Derived Forms
ditherer, noun
dithery, adjective
Word Origin
C17: variant of C14 (northern English dialect) didder, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dithering

dither

v.

1640s, "to quake, tremble," phonetic variant of Middle English didderen (late 14c.), of uncertain origin. The sense of "vacillate, be anxious" is from 1819. Related: Dithered; dithering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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14
15
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