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titter

[tit-er]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to laugh in a restrained, self-conscious, or affected way, as from nervousness or in ill-suppressed amusement.
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noun
  1. a tittering laugh.
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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

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1. snicker, snigger, giggle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tittering

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • When I stopped, the tittering had ceased; silence saluted me.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

  • One heard from the depths of the jungle the tittering of a hyena.

    Sacrifice

    Stephen French Whitman

  • People sitting near the platform were tittering and laughing.

  • The same sputtering of syllables was heard, drowned by the tittering of the class.

    Madame Bovary

    Gustave Flaubert

  • Behind him he caught snatches of tittering voices in whisper.

    Revolution

    Dallas McCord Reynolds


British Dictionary definitions for tittering

titter

verb
  1. (intr) to snigger, esp derisively or in a suppressed way
  2. (tr) to express by tittering
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noun
  1. a suppressed laugh, chuckle, or snigger
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Derived Formstitterer, nountittering, adjectivetitteringly, adverb

Word Origin

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 tittering

titter

v.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper