verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to cause to flutter; vibrate; agitate.
to throw into nervous or tremulous excitement; cause mental agitation; confuse.


Origin of flutter

before 1000; Middle English floteren, Old English floterian, frequentative of flotian to float
Related formsflut·ter·er, nounflut·ter·ing·ly, adverbun·flut·tered, adjectiveun·flut·ter·ing, adjective

Synonyms for flutter

2. See fly1. 10. flurry, twitter, stir, dither.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fluttered

Contemporary Examples of fluttered

Historical Examples of fluttered

  • Then she fluttered a glance at him in which there was a gleam of mockery.


    William J. Locke

  • The paper dropped from the judge's hand, and fluttered to the floor.

  • She fluttered her hands in a little restrained gesture of comment.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • The Stars and Stripes crumpled up and fluttered down the wind.

    The Island Mystery

    George A. Birmingham

  • At length it could no longer resist its fate and it fluttered into its enemy's jaws.

British Dictionary definitions for fluttered



to wave or cause to wave rapidly; flap
(intr) (of birds, butterflies, etc) to flap the wings
(intr) to move, esp downwards, with an irregular motion
(intr) pathol (of the auricles of the heart) to beat abnormally rapidly, esp in a regular rhythm
to be or make nervous or restless
(intr) to move about restlessly
swimming to cause (the legs) to move up and down in a flutter kick or (of the legs) to move in this way
(tr) British informal to wager or gamble (a small amount of money)


a quick flapping or vibrating motion
a state of nervous excitement or confusion
excited interest; sensation; stir
British informal a modest bet or wager
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
electronics a slow variation in pitch in a sound-reproducing system, similar to wow but occurring at higher frequencies
a potentially dangerous oscillation of an aircraft, or part of an aircraft, caused by the interaction of aerodynamic forces, structural elastic reactions, and inertia
swimming See flutter kick
Also called: flutter tonguing music a method of sounding a wind instrument, esp the flute, with a rolling movement of the tongue
Derived Formsflutterer, nounflutteringly, adverb

Word Origin for flutter

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



Old English floterian "to flutter, fly, flicker, float to and fro, be tossed by waves," frequentative of flotian "to float" (see float (v.)). Related: Fluttered; fluttering. As a noun from 1640s; meaning "state of excitement" is 1740s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for fluttered




Abnormally rapid pulsation, especially of the atria or ventricles of the heart.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.