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[twit] /twɪt/
verb (used with object), twitted, twitting.
to taunt, tease, ridicule, etc., with reference to anything embarrassing; gibe at.
Synonyms: jeer at, mock, insult, deride.
to reproach or upbraid.
an act of twitting.
a derisive reproach; taunt; gibe.
Origin of twit1
1520-30; aphetic variant of obsolete atwite, Middle English atwiten, Old English ætwītan to taunt, equivalent to æt- at1 + wītan to blame Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for twitting


verb twits, twitting, twitted
(transitive) to tease, taunt, or reproach, often in jest
(US & Canadian, informal) a nervous or excitable state
(rare) a reproach; taunt
Word Origin
Old English ætwītan, from æt against + wītan to accuse; related to Old High German wīzan to punish


(informal, mainly Brit) a foolish or stupid person; idiot
Word Origin
C19: from twit1 (originally in the sense: a person given to twitting)
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 twitting



1520s, shortened form of atwite, from Old English ætwitan "to blame, reproach," from æt "at" + witan "to blame," from Proto-Germanic *witanan (cf. Old English wite, Old Saxon witi, Old Norse viti "punishment, torture;" Old High German wizzi "punishment," wizan "to punish;" Dutch verwijten, Old High German firwizan, German verweisen "to reproach, reprove," Gothic fraweitan "to avenge"), from PIE root *weid- "to see" (see vision). For sense evolution, cf. Latin animadvertere, literally "to give heed to, observe," later "to chastise, censure, punish."


"foolish, stupid and ineffectual person," 1934, British slang, popular 1950s-60s, crossed over to U.S. with British sitcoms. It probably developed from twit (v.) in the sense of "reproach," but it may be influenced by nitwit.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for twitting

twist slowly in the wind

verb phrase

To suffer protracted humiliation, obloquy, regret, etc: The second mistake was to let Sherrill twist slowly in the wind/ just letting you twist slowly, slowly in the wind

[1973+; perhaps coined by John Ehrlichman, an aide of President Richard Nixon, fr the gruesome image of a hanging body]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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