Definition of flutter in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈflədər/


[no object]
1(Of a bird or other winged creature) fly unsteadily or hover by flapping the wings quickly and lightly: a couple of butterflies fluttered around the garden
More example sentences
  • The hapless bird fluttered and flapped around the astonished patrons whilst desperately trying to gain its freedom.
  • Tiny winged creatures flutter about, causing the children to duck and wave their arms.
  • Even as a tiny butterfly fluttering about in your garden is a breath-taking sight, imagine scores of them thronging a place in the city's vicinity!
flit, hover, flitter, dance
1.1 [with object] (Of a bird or other winged creature) flap (its wings) quickly and lightly: the lark fluttered its wings, hovering
More example sentences
  • It was very still, fluttering its wings every now and then.
  • Black wings fluttered a hundred times a second to keep her aloft.
  • Filmy insects were circling the dusty plant on his desk, their transparent wings fluttering in the lamplight, and rain was trickling down the blue wall.
flap, move up and down, beat, quiver, agitate, vibrate, whiffle
1.2 [with adverbial] Move or fall with a light irregular or trembling motion: the remaining petals fluttered to the ground
More example sentences
  • She finally saw him, leaning against the railing, hair fluttering in the light breeze.
  • The window was open and the check curtains were fluttering in the light breeze coming in off the water.
  • He moved in slow motion, dark cloak fluttering with each deliberate step.
flicker, bat
flap, wave, ripple, undulate, quiver;
beat weakly, beat irregularly, palpitate, miss/skip a beat, quiver, go pit-a-pat;
Medicine  exhibit arrhythmia
1.3 [with adverbial of direction] (Of a person) move restlessly or uncertainly: the hostess fluttered forward to greet her guests
More example sentences
  • Children fluttered around, overwhelmed by the sights around them.
  • Women fluttered among buzzing auto-rickshaws and brake-screeching scooters.
  • Children, teenagers and adults flutter to the local courts in search of enjoyment and exercise.
1.4(Of a pulse or heartbeat) beat feebly or irregularly.
Example sentences
  • He could see, from the corner of his eye, the pulses fluttering in their throats.
  • All do precisely what's expected of them yet fail to really set the pulse fluttering.
  • Several of the assassins were still alive, if barely, and their heartbeats fluttered as their lives ebbed slowly away.


1An act of fluttering: there was a flutter of wings at the window
More example sentences
  • One flutter of those eyelashes and waiters are throwing themselves at her feet.
  • She gets wasted, hitched, and divorced in the girlie flutter of an eyelash.
  • I detected a flutter in the movement of his top lip.
beating, flapping, quivering, agitation, vibrating
flicker, bat
flapping, waving, rippling
1.1A state or sensation of tremulous excitement: Sandra felt a flutter in the pit of her stomach her insides were in a flutter
More example sentences
  • It's even possible to feel the excitement and flutter in your stomach when you begin contact that you feel when meeting a potential date for the first time!
  • The company's decision to patrol the Net has got you all in a flutter.
  • TechReview gets all in a flutter about the new range of ‘value’ drives from Maxtor.
tremor, wave, rush, surge, flash, stab, flush, tremble, quiver, shiver, frisson, chill, thrill, tingle, shudder, ripple, flicker
1.2 Aeronautics Undesired oscillation in a part of an aircraft under stress.
Example sentences
  • In this area he published on the forces on aircraft wings, in particular studying stress and sonic flutter.
  • During his brief test flight, Bullard had experienced an episode of flutter.
  • The gear problem was quickly corrected but further testing showed that the craft had tail flutter.
1.3 Medicine Disturbance of the rhythm of the heart that is less severe than fibrillation: atrial flutter I was diagnosed as having a heart flutter
More example sentences
  • It is not uncommon for this rhythm to progress into atrial flutter or atrial fibrillation.
  • Patients should be monitored for an exacerbation of atrial fibrillation or flutter, and for increasing ventricular rates.
  • The study showed that men who express their anger have a 10 percent greater risk than non-hostile men of developing an atrial fibrillation, a heart flutter.
1.4 Electronics Rapid variation in the pitch or amplitude of a signal, especially of recorded sound. Compare with wow2.
Example sentences
  • Variations in audio playback rate would be discernible as wow and flutter, but slight variations in video playback framerate are not apparent.
  • Wow, flutter and scrape flutter in a recording system, in tiny percentages, can be your friend.
2British informal A small bet: a flutter on the horses
More example sentences
  • Currently in Australia, online gambling is mostly confined to wagering, a flutter on the races or sports betting.
  • Spread betting makes a flutter on the general election more interesting as it's no longer a two horse race, but a prediction of seats won by the party of the punter's choice.
  • The occasional flutter on the National Lottery does no real harm to individuals but, as with all gambling, it damages our long-term financial future.


flutter one's eyelashes

Open and close one’s eyes rapidly in a coyly flirtatious manner.
Example sentences
  • She gave him a flirtatious grin, fluttering her eyelashes just a little for effect.
  • I stood and watched as she flicked her hair over her shoulder and fluttered her eyelashes at the closest guy.
  • Smiling, I tilted my head toward him and fluttered my eyelashes in what I hoped was a flirty manner.



Example sentences
  • As far as the flag thing is concerned, I think it's a good idea to change and the alternatives on offer are varied, colourful and original but I have a difficult time choosing one to replace our colonial flutterer.
  • Rachel might be a flutterer who'd clearly heard entirely too many romantic ballads, but she was also an excellent cook.


Example sentences
  • ‘G-g-good evening to you, er, Herr von Rogoff, s-sir,’ he said, bowing flutteringly.
  • Wraparound or flutteringly light dresses, bustiers with tiny shorts.


Example sentences
  • When blood flow is diverted from our digestive systems, our stomachs become slightly deprived of oxygen, resulting in the classic fluttery feeling known as butterflies.
  • But as each game progressed, I found myself getting fluttery.
  • That's merely a glorified title designed to booster my ego and fill my heart with fluttery feelings - so that I won't follow the more natural impulse and bolt off in despair.


Old English floterian, flotorian, a frequentative form related to fleet4.

Words that rhyme with flutter

abutter, aflutter, butter, Calcutta, clutter, constructor, cutter, declutter, gutter, mutter, nutter, scutter, shutter, splutter, sputter, strutter, stutter, utter

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: flut·ter

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