[ fluht-er ]
See synonyms for: flutterflutteredfluttering on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
  1. to wave, flap, or toss about: Banners fluttered in the breeze.

  2. to flap the wings rapidly; fly with flapping movements.

  1. to move in quick, irregular motions; vibrate.

  2. to beat rapidly, as the heart.

  3. to be tremulous or agitated.

  4. to go with irregular motions or aimless course: to flutter back and forth.

verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to flutter; vibrate; agitate.

  2. to throw into nervous or tremulous excitement; cause mental agitation; confuse.

  1. a fluttering movement: He made little nervous flutters with his hands.

  2. a state of nervous excitement or mental agitation: a flutter of anticipation.

  1. Audio. a variation in pitch resulting from rapid fluctuations in the speed of a recording.: Compare wow2 (def. 1).

  2. Chiefly British. a small wager or speculative investment.

Origin of flutter

First recorded before 1000; Middle English floteren, Old English floterian, frequentative of flotian “to float

synonym study For flutter

2. See fly2.

Other words for flutter

Other words from flutter

  • flut·ter·er, noun
  • flut·ter·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·flut·tered, adjective
  • un·flut·ter·ing, adjective

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

How to use flutter in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for flutter


/ (ˈflʌtə) /

  1. to wave or cause to wave rapidly; flap

  2. (intr) (of birds, butterflies, etc) to flap the wings

  1. (intr) to move, esp downwards, with an irregular motion

  2. (intr) pathol (of the auricles of the heart) to beat abnormally rapidly, esp in a regular rhythm

  3. to be or make nervous or restless

  4. (intr) to move about restlessly

  5. swimming to cause (the legs) to move up and down in a flutter kick or (of the legs) to move in this way

  6. (tr) British informal to wager or gamble (a small amount of money)

  1. a quick flapping or vibrating motion

  2. a state of nervous excitement or confusion

  1. excited interest; sensation; stir

  2. British informal a modest bet or wager

  3. pathol an abnormally rapid beating of the auricles of the heart (200 to 400 beats per minute), esp in a regular rhythm, sometimes resulting in heart block

  4. electronics a slow variation in pitch in a sound-reproducing system, similar to wow but occurring at higher frequencies

  5. a potentially dangerous oscillation of an aircraft, or part of an aircraft, caused by the interaction of aerodynamic forces, structural elastic reactions, and inertia

  6. swimming See flutter kick

  7. Also called: flutter tonguing music a method of sounding a wind instrument, esp the flute, with a rolling movement of the tongue

Origin of flutter

Old English floterian to float to and fro; related to German flattern; see float

Derived forms of flutter

  • flutterer, noun
  • flutteringly, adverb

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