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verb (used without object)
  1. to utter a succession of small, tremulous sounds, as a bird.
  2. to talk lightly and rapidly, especially of trivial matters; chatter.
  3. to titter; giggle.
  4. to tremble with excitement or the like; be in a flutter.
  5. Digital Technology. tweet(def 4).
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verb (used with object)
  1. to express or utter by twittering.
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  1. an act of twittering.
  2. a twittering sound.
  3. a state of tremulous excitement.
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Origin of twitter

1325–75; Middle English twiteren (v.); akin to German zwitschern
Related formstwit·ter·er, nountwit·ter·ing·ly, adverb


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  1. the brand name of a social media service and website where registered users may post text that is limited to a certain number of characters, as well as links, photos, or videos.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for twitter

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He did not mind being awakened by the "twitter" of a milk cart.

  • Else would I call it the twitter of a wren that has flown over.

    Fort Amity

    Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

  • "It is a pity we can't chirp and twitter like birds," said Rendel.

    The Arbiter

    Lady F. E. E. Bell

  • An enchanted place with its flight and twitter of birds above the water.

  • I know all the birds say when they twitter and chirp, caw and coo, gobble and cluck.

    Europa's Fairy Book

    Joseph Jacobs

British Dictionary definitions for twitter


  1. (intr) (esp of a bird) to utter a succession of chirping sounds
  2. (intr) to talk or move rapidly and tremulously
  3. (intr) to giggleher schoolmates twittered behind their desks
  4. (tr) to utter in a chirping way
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  1. a twittering sound, esp of a bird
  2. the act of twittering
  3. a state of nervous excitement (esp in the phrase in a twitter)
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Derived Formstwitterer, nountwittery, adjective

Word Origin

C14: of imitative origin


  1. trademark a website where people can post short messages about their current activities
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  1. (intr; sometimes not capital) to write a short message on the Twitter website
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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 twitter


late 14c., twiteren, in reference to birds, of imitative origin (cf. Old High German zwizziron, German zwitschern, Danish kvidre, Old Swedish kvitra). The noun meaning "condition of tremulous excitement" is attested from 1670s. The microblogging service with the 140-character limit was introduced in 2006.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper