Meaning of dither in English:


Pronunciation /?d?e?/

See synonyms for dither

Translate dither into Spanish


[no object]
  • 1Be indecisive.

    ‘I can't bear people who dither’
    • ‘he was dithering about the election date’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There must be no more discussion, delay or dithering on building this interceptor tunnel.’
    • ‘The government has been warned to stop dithering and delaying over its Crossrail plans for Kingston.’
    • ‘Dibden Bay and Southampton have been delayed and they are dithering about Bathside.’
    • ‘They dithered and faltered and could not get the roll-out of the leadership coup over to the public or even amongst themselves.’
    • ‘Time and again he dithered and dallied on the baseline.’
    • ‘While the Government dithers, the project continues to suffer mind-boggling cost escalation at the rate of Rs. 55 lakh a day.’
    • ‘As the Government dithers on the matter, he said, cancer sufferers in Waterford, Kilkenny, Wexford and Carlow are dying.’
    • ‘While the FDA dithers, the case against selling EC over the counter weakens by the day.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, as she dithers, I put more and more things into boxes.’
    • ‘In the face of this, official Ottawa dithers and slithers, hoping questions about Arar will go away.’
    • ‘We're still dithering over the Future Fund and talking of parking spare shares there.’
    • ‘Yet the CEOs and the Boards of Directors still dithered and their share prices were unshaken.’
    • ‘While the government dithers, the awful record of deaths at work gets worse.’
    • ‘The limited access to anti-retrovirals and national government's dithering further dims their future.’
    • ‘The longer that the government dithers, the deeper we get into debt.’
    • ‘Still, we dithered around with first one idea and then another.’
    • ‘And so Danny just stood in the background whilst the soldiers dithered around trying to make things safe.’
    hesitate, falter, waver, teeter, vacillate, oscillate, fluctuate, change one's mind, be in two minds, be ambivalent, be indecisive, be unsure, be undecided
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  • 2with object Add white noise to (a digital recording) to reduce distortion of low-amplitude signals.

    ‘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.’
    1. 2.1Display or print (a colour image) in such a way that it appears to contain more colours than are really available.
      ‘the easiest way to remove hot pixels is to dither the images’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘The three images are supposed to show the effects of quantization and dithering, but that's nearly impossible to see in this black-and-white image.’
      • ‘However, the dithering on the 24-bit photos we beamed over was very apparent thanks to the screen's low dot pitch.’


  • 1 informal mass noun Indecisive behaviour.

    • ‘after months of dither ministers had still not agreed’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘His moment of authority coming as it does after an evening of dither and doubt is a well thought out and crafted piece of acting.’
    • ‘It was entertaining to see them caught in a dither of priorities.’
    • ‘Veterans are disappointed if not a little angered by the dither and delay which means the collection is now going 100 miles away.’
    • ‘‘It is time the Government ended the dither and delay,’ Mr Burstow said.’
    • ‘Intel's obviously in a bit of a dither about this.’
  • 2in singular A state of agitation.

    ‘ all of a dither, he prophesied instant chaos’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But still, the whole experience can send me into a tissy and a dither and you don't want Halley in either of those places.’
    • ‘Mary charged out of the room in an obvious dither.’
    • ‘In DXD mode, dither is selectable for stereo and surround monitors, but you must not use it.’
    • ‘Image processor using both dither and error diffusion to produce halftone images with less flicker and patterns’
    • ‘Instead, the government opted for dither and funk.’
    • ‘The Empress is in a dither about the sprinklers again.’
    panic, state of fear, fluster
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Mid 17th century (in the dialect sense ‘tremble, quiver’): variant of dialect didder; related to dodder.