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dither

[dihth -er] /ˈdɪð ər/
noun
1.
a trembling; vibration.
2.
a state of flustered excitement or fear.
verb (used without object)
3.
to act irresolutely; vacillate.
4.
North England. to tremble with excitement or fear.
Origin
late Middle English
1640-1650
1640-50; variant of didder (late Middle English diddere); cf. dodder
Related forms
ditherer, noun
dithery, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for dither
  • With voters so divided, no wonder politicians dither.
  • Yet candidates cannot afford to dither indefinitely.
  • As lawmakers dither, public support for action melts away.
  • The city simply has no time left to dither or filibuster or ignore a problem because the solution is unpleasant.
  • Thus it is difficult to use high dither frequencies.
  • The number of dots in an ordered dither cell puts a limit on the number of colors the plotter can produce.
  • Matching is achieved by a technique known as dither.
  • Good acquisition librarians do not have to dither about these decisions.
British Dictionary definitions for dither

dither

/ˈdɪðə/
verb (intransitive)
1.
(mainly Brit) to be uncertain or indecisive
2.
(mainly US) to be in an agitated state
3.
to tremble, as with cold
noun
4.
(mainly Brit) a state of indecision
5.
a state of agitation
Derived Forms
ditherer, noun
dithery, adjective
Word Origin
C17: variant of C14 (northern English dialect) didder, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for dither
v.

1640s, "to quake, tremble," phonetic variant of Middle English didderen (late 14c.), of uncertain origin. The sense of "vacillate, be anxious" is from 1819. Related: Dithered; dithering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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