flitter

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See also: Flitter

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English flytteren, frequentative form of flitten, flytten, flütten, possibly from Old Norse flytja (to carry about, convey), equivalent to flit +‎ -er (frequentative suffix).

Verb[edit]

flitter (third-person singular simple present flitters, present participle flittering, simple past and past participle flittered)

  1. to scatter in pieces
  2. to move about rapidly and nimbly
  3. to move quickly from one condition or location to another
  4. to flutter or quiver

Derived terms[edit]

Noun[edit]

flitter (plural flitters)

  1. A rag; a tatter; a small piece or fragment.
  2. (science fiction) A small aircraft or spacecraft.
    • 1941 July, Edward Elmer Smith, “The Vortex Blaster”, Comet Stories, volume 1, number 5, page 10: 
      Then all three went out to the flitter. A tiny speedster, really; a torpedo bearing stubby wings and the ludicrous tail-surfaces, the multifarious driving-, braking-, side-, top-, and under-jets so characteristic of the tricky, cranky, but ultra-maneuverable breed.
    • 1944 March, George Oliver Smith, “Circle of Confusion”, Astounding Science Fiction, volume 33, number 1, page 54: 
      Small flitters were powered and made ready, and everything that carried manual controls was inspected and cleared for action.
    • 1955, Alice Mary Norton (as Andrew North), Sargasso of Space, page 53:
      The small flitters carried by the Queen for exploration work held with comfort a two-man crew—with crowding, three.
    • 1994, Stephen Baxter, Ring, ISBN 9780002240260, page 43:
      The flitter tumbled from the shimmering throat of the wormhole transit route from Port Sol to Earthport.

References[edit]

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.