Note: Our Sixth Annual 15-Second Vocabulary Video Challenge is underway. It will run until Feb. 18.
dither ˈdi-t͟hər verb and noun
verb: act nervously; be undecided; be uncertain
verb: make a fuss; be agitated
noun: an excited state of agitation
The word dither has appeared in 36 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Dec. 31 in the book review “Superb Oddities: Robert Gottlieb Reviews a Biography of Edward Gorey” by Mark Dery:
And then a college friend, Barbara Zimmerman — married to Jason Epstein, a young publishing whiz at Doubleday — suggested to her husband that Ted would be the perfect person to create the jacket art for Anchor Books, the new line of quality paperbacks Jason was launching. Gorey dithered — “At first I said no, but then I thought, ‘I’m not really surviving very noticeably in Boston, so I’ll move to New York, much as I hate the place.’” And so at the start of 1953 he moved, “and embarked on what is laughingly called my career.”