[ tee-ter ]
See synonyms for: teeterteeteredteetering on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
  1. to move unsteadily.

  2. to ride a seesaw; teetertotter.

verb (used with object)
  1. to tip (something) up and down; move unsteadily.

  1. a seesaw motion; wobble.

  2. a seesaw; teetertotter.

Origin of teeter

1835–45; variant of dial. titter,Middle English titeren<Old Norse titra tremble; cognate with German zittern to tremble, quiver

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

How to use teeter in a sentence

  • Only his mind was under attack, only his mind was afraid, teetering on the edge of control.

    The Dark Door | Alan Edward Nourse
  • With a malevolent expression on his face, his beady eyes gleaming with cruel intelligence, he began teetering.

    Before Adam | Jack London
  • It was a town with a small stone church, from whose teetering cross one arm had been shot away.

    The Code of the Mountains | Charles Neville Buck
  • The song stopped and Judge Priest stood in the opening, teetering a little on his heels.

    The Escape of Mr. Trimm | Irvin S. Cobb
  • Peggy hung over them breathlessly, and saw in fancy eighteen balls of yellow down, teetering on toothpick legs.

    Peggy Raymond's Vacation | Harriet L. (Harriet Lummis) Smith

British Dictionary definitions for teeter


/ (ˈtiːtə) /

  1. to move or cause to move unsteadily; wobble

noun, verb
  1. another word for seesaw

Origin of teeter

C19: from Middle English titeren, related to Old Norse titra to tremble, Old High German zittarōn to shiver

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