dither

[dihth-er]
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:
1640–50; variant of didder (late Middle English diddere); cf. dodder

ditherer, noun
dithery, adjective
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World English Dictionary
dither (ˈdɪðə)
 
vb
1.  chiefly (Brit) to be uncertain or indecisive
2.  chiefly (US) to be in an agitated state
3.  to tremble, as with cold
 
n
4.  chiefly (Brit) a state of indecision
5.  a state of agitation
 
[C17: variant of C14 (northern English dialect) didder, of uncertain origin]
 
'ditherer
 
n
 
'dithery
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

dither
1640s, "to quake, tremble," phonetic variant of M.E. 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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Example sentences
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.
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