Definition of twitch in English:


Line breaks: twitch
Pronunciation: /twɪtʃ


  • 1Give or cause to give a short, sudden jerking or convulsive movement: [no object]: her lips twitched and her eyelids fluttered [with object]: the dog twitched his ears
    More example sentences
    • Winthrop gives me an apologetic look, though a corner of his mouth is slightly twitching in amusement.
    • Casey felt her heart shudder and her lips twitch upwards into a smile.
    • All he noticed was Paul's eyebrow twitching upward at the reaction.
    jerk, move spasmodically/convulsively, spasm, convulse, flutter, quiver, tremble, shiver, quaver, shudder
  • 1.1 [with object and adverbial] Cause to move in a specified direction by giving a sharp pull: he twitched a cigarette out of a packet
    More example sentences
    • I twitched the rod back.
    • Mallory twitched the tag again, careful not to move it too much.
    • I can just see him sitting down to his tea and not being able to pick up his cutlery without twitching his knife and fork backwards and forwards in a rowing motion.
    snatch, pluck, pull, tug, tweak
    informal yank
  • 2 [with object] Use a twitch to subdue (a horse).
    More example sentences
    • The vet tied him to a high smooth wall and then twitched him.
    • When twitched, the horse appears sedated and his heart rate slows.
    • In many cases, owners and grooms resort to modifying the clip, twitching the horse, or even having the vet out every few weeks to inject sedatives.


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  • 1A short, sudden jerking or convulsive movement: his mouth gave a slight twitch
    More example sentences
    • If hyponatremia develops rapidly, muscular twitches, irritability and convulsions can occur.
    • My attention was focused on his body, waiting for the first twitch of movement.
    • Other than a slight twitch of her head, she made no motion to stop him.
    spasm, convulsive movement, convulsion, jerk, flutter, quiver, tremor, shiver, shudder; tic
  • 1.1A sudden pull or jerk: he gave a twitch at his moustache
    More example sentences
    • She made a little twitch of a finger, and Jeff finally locked the tracer.
    • It's like sitting on a river bank with a fishing rod, anticipating the slightest twitch from beneath the water.
    • With a twitch of his hand, he cast them onto the table.
    pull, tug, tweak
    informal yank
  • 1.2A sudden sharp sensation; a pang: he felt a twitch of annoyance
    More example sentences
    • In the eerie silence, Sanura felt a twitch of hunger.
    • I felt a twitch of pain on my stomach and then I remember what happened.
    • I asked and attempted to sit on the bed, but I felt a twitch of pain on my body and Irrazé pushed me back onto the bed.
  • 2A small noose attached to a stick, which may be twisted around the upper lip or the ear of a horse to subdue it during veterinary procedures.
    More example sentences
    • Others have resorted to twitches, blindfolds and tying up a front leg.
    • Bob calmly grabbed the stallion's halter, led him into the corner of the stall, placed a twitch around his nose and proceeded to treat him.


Middle English: of Germanic origin; related to Old English twiccian 'to pluck, pull sharply'.

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