[ dith-er ]
See synonyms for: ditherditheredditheringdithers on Thesaurus.com

  1. a trembling; vibration.

  2. a state of flustered excitement or fear.

verb (used without object)
  1. to act irresolutely; vacillate.

  2. North England. to tremble with excitement or fear.

Origin of dither

1640–50; variant of didder (late Middle English diddere); cf. dodder1

Other words from dither

  • dith·er·er, noun
  • dith·er·y, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dither in a sentence

  • Presently he came running out of the scullery, with the soapy water dripping from him, dithering with cold.

    Sons and Lovers | David Herbert Lawrence
  • Another fellow walking in his sleep and killing criss-cross Huns in his dithering dreams.

    Air Men o' War | Boyd Cable
  • I was beginning to correct my first impression that Thrombley was a complete dithering fool.

    Lone Star Planet | Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire
  • He nodded to his dithering worship, and marched back slowly and calmly to his dinner.

    The Yeoman Adventurer | George W. Gough
  • Tom stood watching the ambulance whisk Murell off, dithering in indecision.

    Four-Day Planet | Henry Beam Piper

British Dictionary definitions for dither


/ (ˈdɪðə) /

  1. mainly British to be uncertain or indecisive

  2. mainly US to be in an agitated state

  1. to tremble, as with cold

  1. mainly British a state of indecision

  2. a state of agitation

Origin of dither

C17: variant of C14 (northern English dialect) didder, of uncertain origin

Derived forms of dither

  • ditherer, noun
  • dithery, adjective

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