- 1[intransitive, transitive] to move lightly and quickly; to make something move in this way Flags fluttered in the breeze. Her eyelids fluttered but did not open. flutter something He fluttered his hands around wildly. She fluttered her eyelashes at him (= tried to attract him in order to persuade him to do something).
- 2[intransitive, transitive] flutter (something) when a bird or an insect flutters its wings, or its wings flutter, the wings move lightly and quickly up and down
- 3[intransitive] + adv./prep. (of a bird or an insect) to fly somewhere moving the wings quickly and lightly The butterfly fluttered from flower to flower.
- 4[intransitive] (of your heart, etc.) to beat very quickly and not regularly I could feel a fluttering pulse. (figurative) The sound of his voice in the hall made her heart flutter. (figurative) He felt his stomach flutter (= he felt nervous) when they called his name. Word Origin Old English floterian, flotorian, a frequentative form related to fleet ‘move or pass quickly’.Extra examples A bird fluttered to the ground. The butterfly fluttered away. The first snowflakes fluttered down between the trees. The ribbons on her hat fluttered gently in the breeze. A butterfly fluttered from flower to flower. A couple of little birds fluttered around in the garden. A silk scarf fluttered around her shoulders. Her heart fluttered every time she looked at him. She fluttered her eyelashes at him. The bank note fluttered away in the breeze. The birds fluttered nervously in their cage.
BrE BrE//ˈflʌtə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˈflʌtər//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they flutter
BrE BrE//ˈflʌtə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˈflʌtər//he / she / it flutters
BrE BrE//ˈflʌtəz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈflʌtərz//past simple fluttered
BrE BrE//ˈflʌtəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈflʌtərd//past participle fluttered
BrE BrE//ˈflʌtəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈflʌtərd//-ing form fluttering
BrE BrE//ˈflʌtərɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈflʌtərɪŋ//