• synonyms


verb (used with or without object)
  1. to flutter.
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Origin of flitter

First recorded in 1535–45; flit + -er6
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for flittering

fly, flop, zip, flit, flicker, wave, skim, swoop, waver, ripple, waggle, dart

Examples from the Web for flittering

Historical Examples of flittering

  • For an instant nothing happened, save that flittering bits of broken glass shimmered their way to the sand.

    Astounding Stories of Super-Science, May, 1930


  • Becky Bannister was as white as the doves that were flittering down to the garden pool to drink.

    The Trumpeter Swan

    Temple Bailey

  • It was pitch dark, but all around them glowed millions of tiny lights, flittering here and there.

  • When one saw her flittering among the flowers it was hard to say which was the daintier—the blossoms or Betsy Butterfly.

    The Tale of Betsy Butterfly

    Arthur Scott Bailey

  • In fact, she was so accustomed to their flittering after her that usually she paid little heed to them.

    The Tale of Betsy Butterfly

    Arthur Scott Bailey

British Dictionary definitions for flittering


  1. a less common word for flutter
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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 flittering



1540s, from flit with frequentative suffix. Flitter-mouse (1540s) is occasionally used in English, in imitation of German fledermaus "bat," from Old High German fledaron "to flutter." Related: Flittered; flittering. As a noun, from 1892.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper