verb (used without object)

to laugh in a restrained, self-conscious, or affected way, as from nervousness or in ill-suppressed amusement.


a tittering laugh.

Origin of titter

1610–20; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse tittra to quiver, Swedish (dial.) tittra to giggle
Related formstit·ter·er, nountit·ter·ing·ly, adverbun·tit·ter·ing, adjective

Synonyms for titter

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for titter

cackle, guffaw, chortle, twitter, snicker, snigger, chuckle, hee-haw

Examples from the Web for titter

Contemporary Examples of titter

Historical Examples of titter

  • In the middle of it I saw Clara begin to titter, but she did not interrupt him.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • "Have a care of the sentinel on the hill-top," Sakr-el-Bahr admonished him, provoking a titter.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • For a moment there was silence, save for a titter from the group of seamen.

    The Wild Geese

    Stanley John Weyman

  • And best of all, there's no mob of nit-wits to titter and smirk.

    David Lannarck, Midget

    George S. Harney

  • There was a titter of laughter at this piece of information.

    The Hero of Garside School

    J. Harwood Panting

British Dictionary definitions for titter



(intr) to snigger, esp derisively or in a suppressed way
(tr) to express by tittering


a suppressed laugh, chuckle, or snigger
Derived Formstitterer, nountittering, adjectivetitteringly, adverb

Word Origin for titter

C17: of imitative 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 titter

1610s, "giggle in a suppressed or covert way," probably of imitative origin. Related: Tittered; tittering. The noun is first recorded 1728.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper