twitch

[twich]
verb (used with object)
1.
to tug or pull at with a quick, short movement; pluck: She twitched him by the sleeve.
2.
to jerk rapidly: The rider twitched the reins a couple of times.
3.
to move (a part of the body) with a sudden, jerking motion.
4.
to pinch or pull at sharply and painfully; give a smarting pinch to; nip.
verb (used without object)
5.
to move spasmodically or convulsively; jerk; jump.
6.
to give a sharp, sudden pull; tug; pluck (usually followed by at ): He constantly twitched at his collar.
7.
to ache or hurt with a sharp, shooting pain; twinge: That back tooth twitches a bit.
noun
8.
a quick, jerky movement of the body or of some part of it.
9.
involuntary, spasmodic movement of a muscle; tic: He gets a twitch in his left eye when he's nervous.
10.
a short, sudden pull or tug; jerk.
11.
a bodily or mental twinge, as of pain, conscience, etc.; pang.
12.
a loop or noose placed over the muzzle of a horse and tightened by twisting a stick or handle to which it is attached, used as a restraining device during a painful operation.

Origin:
1125–75; Middle English twicchen (v.); akin to Old English twiccian to pluck; cognate with German zwicken to pinch

twitcher, noun
twitchingly, adverb
untwitched, adjective
untwitching, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
twitch (twɪtʃ)
 
vb
1.  to move or cause to move in a jerky spasmodic way
2.  (tr) to pull or draw (something) with a quick jerky movement
3.  (intr) to hurt with a sharp spasmodic pain
4.  rare (tr) to nip
 
n
5.  a sharp jerking movement
6.  a mental or physical twinge
7.  Compare tic a sudden muscular spasm, esp one caused by a nervous condition
8.  a loop of cord used to control a horse by drawing it tight about its upper lip
 
[Old English twiccian to pluck; related to Old High German zwecchōn to pinch, Dutch twicken]
 
'twitching
 
adj, —n

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

twitch
c.1175, to-twic-chen "pull apart with a quick jerk," related to O.E. twiccian "to pluck," from P.Gmc. *twikjonan (cf. Low Ger. twicken, Du. twikken, O.H.G. gizwickan, Ger. zwicken "to pinch, tweak"). The noun is attested from 1520s. Related: Twitching.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

twitch (twĭch)
v. twitched, twitch·ing, twitch·es

  1. To draw, pull, or move suddenly and sharply; jerk.

  2. To move jerkily or spasmodically.

  3. To ache sharply from time to time; twinge.

n.
A sudden involuntary or spasmodic muscular movement.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
He had turned fearfully pale and his upper lip was twitching and quivering.
With his arms crossed over his head and his feet twitching, he was unconscious
  and drowning.
They are constantly twitching about, and giving out half-screeches or chips
  before they erupt into a full screech.
He approached with utmost care, amber eyes riveted on his adversaries, nostrils
  twitching to pick up a scent.
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