verb (used without object)
- to wave, flap, or toss about: Banners fluttered in the breeze.
- to flap the wings rapidly; fly with flapping movements.
- to move in quick, irregular motions; vibrate.
- to beat rapidly, as the heart.
- to be tremulous or agitated.
- to go with irregular motions or aimless course: to flutter back and forth.
verb (used with object)
- to cause to flutter; vibrate; agitate.
- to throw into nervous or tremulous excitement; cause mental agitation; confuse.
- a fluttering movement: He made little nervous flutters with his hands.
- a state of nervous excitement or mental agitation: a flutter of anticipation.
- flutter kick.
- Audio. a variation in pitch resulting from rapid fluctuations in the speed of a recording.Compare wow2(def 1).
- Chiefly British. a small wager or speculative investment.
- to wave or cause to wave rapidly; flap
- (intr) (of birds, butterflies, etc) to flap the wings
- (intr) to move, esp downwards, with an irregular motion
- (intr) pathol (of the auricles of the heart) to beat abnormally rapidly, esp in a regular rhythm
- to be or make nervous or restless
- (intr) to move about restlessly
- swimming to cause (the legs) to move up and down in a flutter kick or (of the legs) to move in this way
- (tr) British informal to wager or gamble (a small amount of money)
- a quick flapping or vibrating motion
- a state of nervous excitement or confusion
- excited interest; sensation; stir
- British informal a modest bet or wager
- pathol an abnormally rapid beating of the auricles of the heart (200 to 400 beats per minute), esp in a regular rhythm, sometimes resulting in heart block
- electronics a slow variation in pitch in a sound-reproducing system, similar to wow but occurring at higher frequencies
- a potentially dangerous oscillation of an aircraft, or part of an aircraft, caused by the interaction of aerodynamic forces, structural elastic reactions, and inertia
- swimming See flutter kick
- Also called: flutter tonguing music a method of sounding a wind instrument, esp the flute, with a rolling movement of the tongue
Old English floterian “to flutter, fly, flicker, float to and fro, be tossed by waves,” frequentative of flotian “to float” (see float (v.)). Related: Fluttered; fluttering. As a noun from 1640s; meaning “state of excitement” is 1740s.
- Abnormally rapid pulsation, especially of the atria or ventricles of the heart.