Definition of jitter in US English:



  • 1jittersFeelings of extreme nervousness.

    ‘a bout of the jitters’
    • ‘Now that the first day of school is out of the way, the next thing on the calendar sure to cause the jitters is school picture day.’
    • ‘The jitters sent through the government by recent protests are leading to the implementation of even more intrusive and innovative censorship and control tools.’
    • ‘‘The passing of King Fahd is obviously going to put some jitters into the market overall,’ said Kim Iskyan, head of research at MDM Bank.’
    • ‘Still, there are occasional signs that our jitters, our fears, and our suppressed anger could grow into something like a political force.’
    • ‘But corporates are nervous and Wall Street has the jitters.’
    • ‘However, spirits were high by the end as the Jags shook off their jitters to record a deserved victory.’
    • ‘Voters report jitters at the thought of terrorists targeting nuclear plants.’
    • ‘‘It's always stressful,’ she confirms of the opening-night jitters.’
    • ‘Of course, they would be nervous with new-job jitters.’
    • ‘We definitely had a few nervous jitters brought on by the unknown of what or who was down there waiting for us to fly overhead.’
    • ‘Anthony lost the first set 3-6, and defeat seemed certain as he looked desperate to shake off the jitters to trail 1-4 in the second set.’
    • ‘The book addresses subjects from exam-eve tensions to jitters before making a business presentation and everyday anxieties.’
    • ‘And that should really give security moms the jitters.’
    • ‘As far as opening nights go, there were no signs of jitters or stage fright.’
    • ‘The rush by Republicans and Democrats to corral Latino voters has touched off nervous jitters among some black politicians and leaders.’
    • ‘Oddly enough, missing the first shot seemed to shake off the jitters.’
    • ‘Ewing and Davis fluctuate between nervous jitters and cautious optimism, with the first day of the inaugural event only a few days away.’
    • ‘Tonight, terror jitters are spreading throughout the world.’
    • ‘It was probably due to nervous jitters or exhaustion, but the boys almost seemed uncomfortable to be up on stage.’
    • ‘The half is when the jitters and fears you've been dealing with during rehearsal must be exorcised.’
    nervousness, nerves, fit of nerves, edginess, uneasiness, anxiety, anxiousness, tension, agitation, fretfulness, restlessness, fidgeting, trembling, shaking, jumpiness
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  • 2Slight irregular movement, variation, or unsteadiness, especially in an electrical signal or electronic device.

    • ‘The jitter amplitude just before the output crosses this error threshold is defined as the maximum tolerable jitter of the input under test.’
    • ‘These latter two can create amplitude jitter from phase jitter, and vise versa.’
    • ‘Further, when we popped in a high bit rate DVD, we saw definite image jitter in some scenes.’
    • ‘The 10-millisecond case, including all jitter effects, is highlighted, which results in a 2-dB degradation in loss-of-lock threshold.’
    • ‘Too much caffeine can cause nervousness and jitters.’
    • ‘In either case, the repeater must reduce the amount of jitter in its outgoing signal to ensure that downstream devices can recover it error-free.’
    • ‘But these percussive jitters are anchored by MIA's engaging, half-rapped, half-chanted vocal melodies.’
    • ‘While buffers can help mitigate the impact of jitter and wander, they also serve to increase one-way latency, which may stint a conversation.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most difficult issue for system designers is jitter, which is the time displacement of the signal's edges from their ideal location.’
    • ‘This ensures Fibre Channel compliance at the output of the retimer regardless of the amount of jitter on the incoming signal.’
    • ‘Not once did I experience any sort of mouse jitter or discrepancies in movement.’
    • ‘By switching the anti-aliasing mode on and off, I found different and useful timbres, because even aliasing creates an interesting digital jitter.’
    • ‘Another form of delay is jitter, which refers to variations in delay caused by fluctuating signal strengths.’
    • ‘We use the packets themselves to clock each end of the signal because we can't have jitter.’
    • ‘At the same time, he'll build up his confidence, his charm, and eventually squash the jitters and shakes caused by scary girls.’
    • ‘The probes address traditional test functions like latency, packet jitter and packet loss.’
    • ‘But it provides zero-speed detection capabilities without the associated running jitter inherent in classical digital solutions.’
    • ‘Flexure galvanometers and low-noise servo drives offer improved performance in applications requiring smooth scanning with low jitter.’
    • ‘The picture also has some jitter, but I was so distracted by the streaking that I didn't notice whether it persisted through the entire run time.’
    • ‘Video system processing performance is improved by its increased output timing margins and reduced jitter.’


[no object]informal
  • 1Act nervously.

    ‘an anxious student who jittered at any provocation’
    • ‘The mage was jittering nervously as Lushya simply stood there dumbfounded.’
    • ‘His nerves jittered a little to see the massive beast pounding straight at him, but Dervek kept his hand steady and aimed.’
    • ‘I bounced and jittered to the music, knocking into the guy next to me a few times.’
    • ‘And then they made a thorough, exhaustive search of all my hand luggage, while all the while I was jittering about missing my plane.’
    • ‘After several seconds of nervous jittering, the man slowly began to bring his hands into the air, but then something changed.’
    • ‘On the same aircrew, the guy who limited himself to coffee became a jittering mass of jelly.’
    • ‘You might jitter with anxiety yourself as he steadfastly refuses to shift angles during a maddening and calamitous traffic jam.’
    • ‘Rycluse jittered nervously as he watched the onslaught of an attack.’
    • ‘He is leaning back in his leather chair, his knees once again jittering excitedly.’
    • ‘Along the way, we also heard a Sedge Wren jittering.’
    • ‘She asked through jittering teeth as Xephyr carried her down the sidewalk.’
    • ‘My nerves are almost completely balanced by the relief I'm feeling at soon being free of her, but as it is I'm jittering and barely worth talking to.’
    • ‘Now, if I could just stop jittering enough to do my work.’
    • ‘Most of them had not been out for a fortnight, and everyone drank too much and jittered with agitation.’
    • ‘She jittered nervously as she waited for it to show up.’
    1. 1.1 (of a signal or device) suffer from jitter.
      • ‘His computer beeped to life, jittering on his table, playing that annoying little tune that was accustomed to him receiving a new e-mail.’
      • ‘The image looks blurry, and the image jitters unnaturally sometimes as though pan and scan is in effect.’
      • ‘Said samples are then fired through the speakers, stuttering, jittering, and gurgling out at tremendous speeds.’
      • ‘‘Maybe its Camera jitters, maybe she's having second thoughts about the Harry Potter movie ’, James suggested as Tash shook her head.’
      • ‘The panels had stopped jittering and a screen display in the center went alight.’
      • ‘The set-up is surreal, if rich in possibility, and the animation unsettling - a kind of collage effect that jitters awkwardly.’
      • ‘Plus, there is a weird rippling / jittering problem with the location graphics that I found extremely annoying.’
      • ‘Mai put the candle down on the desk, setting monstrous shadows to jittering on the walls and ceiling as she turned back to me.’
      • ‘If I turn on the advanced graphic options such as Anti Aliasing I have to bump the resolution down just one notch so that it does not jitter.’


1920s: of unknown origin.