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[jit-uh-ree] /ˈdʒɪt ə ri/
adjective, jitterier, jitteriest.
extremely tense and nervous; jumpy:
He's very jittery about the medical checkup.
Origin of jittery
An Americanism dating back to 1930-35; jitter + -y1
Related forms
jitteriness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for jittery
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But she was jittery as an old hen and it weren't like her nohow.

    Year of the Big Thaw Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • You see, it sort of riled me—I warn't used to the ways of jittery swells.

  • Mrs. RVS started to get jittery at about ten mps away from home, and above fifteen, she was trembling steadily.


    Irving W. Lande
  • Since the Skye excitement everyone is inclined to be jittery and nerves are stretched tightly.

  • And I'll admit that I was as jittery as a hen on a hot stove until we got this Fortress off the ground, and into the air.

    Dave Dawson at Truk Robert Sydney Bowen
British Dictionary definitions for jittery


(informal) nervous and anxious
Derived Forms
jitteriness, noun
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 jittery

1931, American English, from jitter + -y (2). Related: Jitteriness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for jittery



Nervous: He felt all jittery and uptight (1931+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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