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titter

[tit-er]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to laugh in a restrained, self-conscious, or affected way, as from nervousness or in ill-suppressed amusement.
noun
  1. a tittering laugh.

Origin of titter

1610–20; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse tittra to quiver, Swedish (dial.) tittra to giggle
Related formstit·ter·er, nountit·ter·ing·ly, adverbun·tit·ter·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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1. snicker, snigger, giggle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for titter

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In the middle of it I saw Clara begin to titter, but she did not interrupt him.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • "Have a care of the sentinel on the hill-top," Sakr-el-Bahr admonished him, provoking a titter.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • For a moment there was silence, save for a titter from the group of seamen.

    The Wild Geese

    Stanley John Weyman

  • And best of all, there's no mob of nit-wits to titter and smirk.

    David Lannarck, Midget

    George S. Harney

  • There was a titter of laughter at this piece of information.

    The Hero of Garside School

    J. Harwood Panting


British Dictionary definitions for titter

titter

verb
  1. (intr) to snigger, esp derisively or in a suppressed way
  2. (tr) to express by tittering
noun
  1. a suppressed laugh, chuckle, or snigger
Derived Formstitterer, nountittering, adjectivetitteringly, adverb

Word Origin

C17: of imitative 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

Word Origin and History for titter

v.

1610s, "giggle in a suppressed or covert way," probably of imitative origin. Related: Tittered; tittering. The noun is first recorded 1728.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper