A person who is jittery is nervous.

  • Cindy feels a little jittery just before she takes a test.
  • Elias got jittery during his job interview.
  • A jittery group of children entered the classroom on the first day of school.
  • Sara feels jittery around her boss. (She feels nervous whenever he’s nearby.)
  • Driving on the ice and snow makes Amina feel all jittery.

When used a noun, this word is almost always plural and it usually refers to an uncontrollable movement in which the body shakes.

  • He’s got a bad case of the jitters.
  • Tom got the jitters.
  • The man who just arrived at the detox center has the jitters following three days without a drink of alcohol.

Cultural note: In the 1930’s and 1940’s a popular dance called "the jitterbug" thrilled young people and shocked their parents. Some of the movements are jittery, thus the name of the dance. The video below shows how it’s done:

Would you like to learn how to dance the jitterbug?


Click here to learn more words.

This page was first published on January 10, 2014. It was updated on May 13, 2016.