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 tittering

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

Examples from the Web for tittering

Contemporary Examples of tittering

Historical Examples of tittering

  • 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.


    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.


    Dallas McCord Reynolds

British Dictionary definitions for tittering



(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 tittering



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