Definition of twitch in English:

twitch

Line breaks: twitch
Pronunciation: /twɪtʃ
 
/

verb

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.
Synonyms
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.
Synonyms
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.

noun

Back to top  
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.
Synonyms
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.
Synonyms
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.
Synonyms
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.

Origin

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

Definition of twitch in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day humoresque
Pronunciation: ˌ(h)yo͞oməˈresk
noun
a short, lively piece of music