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
Related formsdith·er·er, noundith·er·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for dithery


verb (intr)
  1. mainly British to be uncertain or indecisive
  2. mainly US to be in an agitated state
  3. to tremble, as with cold
  1. mainly British a state of indecision
  2. a state of agitation
Derived Formsditherer, noundithery, adjective

Word Origin for dither

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

Word Origin and History for dithery



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