Definition of dither in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈdɪðə/


[no object]
1Be indecisive: I can’t bear people who dither he was dithering about the election date
More example sentences
  • While other sporting associations and organisations vacillated and dithered and dallied, the GAA got on with it.
  • It's a very small-scale event, so please don't dither, dally or delay.
  • Because hanging around while someone dithers over their order was getting between him and his carefully crafted lifestyle.
hesitate, falter, waver, teeter, vacillate, oscillate, fluctuate, change one's mind, be in two minds, be ambivalent, be indecisive, be unsure, be undecided;
procrastinate, hang back, delay, stall, temporize, drag one's feet, dawdle, dally;
British  hum and haw, haver;
Scottish  swither
2 [with object] Add white noise to (a digital recording) to reduce distortion of low-amplitude signals.
Example sentences
  • In fact what I had done was to put the AIFF file in Wavelab, used the change gain function and re-dithered the song.
  • In order to test the actuation bandwidth, the reference signal was dithered with a signal of constant amplitude, swept in frequency.
2.1Display or print (a colour image) in such a way that it appears to contain more colours than are really available: (as adjective dithered) dithered bitmaps
More example sentences
  • Photoshop / ImageReady accomplishes this through dithering the image in one of three methods, selectable by the user: diffusion, pattern and noise.
  • GIF may win out with the non-dithering, fewer color images while JPEG is excellent for dithered continuous tone images.
  • ‘The messy dithering of colours that occurs with JPEG compression is bad feng shui.’


1 [mass noun] informal Indecisive behaviour: after months of dither ministers had still not agreed
More example sentences
  • After what seemed like an eternity of debate and dither, Winters finally smashed his kick high and to the left of Gallacher.
  • The fresh wave of rhapsodic dither on the director's sociopolitical acuity was inevitable.
  • Why all this dither about what's modern and what's not?
2 [in singular] A state of agitation: all of a dither, he prophesied instant chaos
More example sentences
  • It's the day of the murder-mystery fundraising event and Colleen's all in a dither.
  • After Clark and I returned home from our oceanic bonding session, we walked in the door to find the whole house in a dither.
  • With Hong Kong in a dither, Shanghai is quickly gaining prominence as the gateway to China.



Pronunciation: /ˈdɪðərə/
Example sentences
  • Such talk in my view has probably hurt the US in the UN since it gives ditherers and dissemblers there an excuse to continue doing so.
  • Everyone else's mandate for smooth evolution remains our ditherers ' charter.
  • But Jimmy Carter had a PhD and he was a hopeless ditherer.


Pronunciation: /ˈdɪðəri/
Example sentences
  • Things liven up, too, when Mr G appears, shaky and dithery in his stained white suit, having problems with his colostomy bag.
  • I do not, however, think this subject is black and white… far too many grey areas - hence the somewhat dithery opinion.
  • I've never understood how anyone could be so dithery as to have no idea who to vote for.


Mid 17th century (in the dialect sense 'tremble, quiver'): variant of dialect didder; related to dodder1.

Words that rhyme with dither

hither, slither, swither, thither, whither, wither, zither

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dither

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.