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[tit-er] /ˈtɪt ər/
verb (used without object)
to laugh in a restrained, self-conscious, or affected way, as from nervousness or in ill-suppressed amusement.
a tittering laugh.
Origin of titter
1610-20; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse tittra to quiver, Swedish (dial.) tittra to giggle
Related forms
titterer, noun
titteringly, adverb
untittering, adjective
1. snicker, snigger, giggle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tittering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When I stopped, the tittering had ceased; silence saluted me.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • One heard from the depths of the jungle the tittering of a hyena.


    Stephen French Whitman
  • People sitting near the platform were tittering and laughing.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • The same sputtering of syllables was heard, drowned by the tittering of the class.

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
  • Behind him he caught snatches of tittering voices in whisper.

    Revolution Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • Nor did he face the school again until all the tittering had subsided.

    Blue Ridge Country Jean Thomas
  • Quickly Lizzie, tittering and blushing, stepped to the other side of Dave.

    Blue Ridge Country Jean Thomas
  • And when I was brought to the font, the parson could not christen me for tittering.

  • It was the funeral of modesty; but the pall was supported by tittering malice.

    The Heroine

    Eaton Stannard Barrett
British Dictionary definitions for tittering


(intransitive) to snigger, esp derisively or in a suppressed way
(transitive) to express by tittering
a suppressed laugh, chuckle, or snigger
Derived Forms
titterer, noun
tittering, adjective
titteringly, 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
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Word Origin and History for tittering



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
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