AskDefine | Define twitch

Dictionary Definition

twitch n : a sudden muscle spasm; especially one caused by a nervous condition [syn: twitching, vellication]


1 make an uncontrolled, short, jerky motion; "his face is twitching" [syn: jerk]
2 move with abrupt, seemingly uncontrolled motions; "The patient's legs were jerkings" [syn: jerk]
3 toss with a sharp movement so as to cause to turn over in the air [syn: flip]
4 squeeze tightly between the fingers; "He pinched her behind"; "She squeezed the bottle" [syn: pinch, squeeze, twinge, tweet, nip]
5 move or pull with a sudden motion

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /twɪtʃ/
  • Rhymes with: -ɪtʃ


  1. A brief, small (sometimes involuntary) movement out of place and then back again; a spasm.


brief, small (sometimes involuntary) movement out of place and then back again
act of bird spotting


  1. To perform a twitch; spasm.
  2. To jerk sharply and briefly.
  3. To spot or seek out a bird, especially a rare one.
    • 1995, Quarterly Review of Biology vol. 70 p. 348:
    "The Birdwatchers Handbook ... will be a clear asset to those who twitch in Europe."
    "But the key revelation from twitching that wonderful Iceland Gull on 10 March 1974 wasn't its eroticism. It was the sheer innocence of it."
    "I hadn't seen John since I went to Adelaide to (unsuccessfully) twitch the '87 Northern Shoveler, when I was a skinny, eighteen- year-old kid. "


to perform a twitch; spasm
to jerk sharply and briefly
to spot a bird

Usage notes

When used of birdwatchers by ignorant outsiders, this term frequently carries a negative connotation.

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Twitch may refer to:
  • Muscle twitch, a muscle contraction
    • Fasciculation, a small, local, involuntary muscle contraction
    • Myoclonic twitch, a jerk usually caused by sudden muscle contractions
    • Spasm, a sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle, group of muscles, hollow organ, or orifice
    • Tic, a sudden, repetitive, nonrhythmic movement or sound that involves discrete groups of muscles
In entertainment:
In other uses:

See also

  • Twitch game, a computer or video game in which the player must react quickly

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ache, acute pain, agonize, ail, anguish, bite, blanch, blench, bob, bobble, boring pain, bounce, breath, bump, charley horse, clutch, coup, crack, cramp, cramps, crick, darting pain, didder, dither, falter, feel pain, feel the pangs, fidget, flash, flick, flip, flip out, flirt, flounce, flutter, freak out on, fulgurant pain, get high on, girdle pain, glow, gnawing, go pitapat, grasp, grimace, griping, half a jiffy, half a mo, half a second, half a shake, have a misery, have the fidgets, have the shakes, heave, hitch, hurt, instant, itch, jar, jerk, jiff, jiffy, jig, jigger, jigget, jiggle, jog, joggle, jolt, jostle, jumping pain, kink, lancinating pain, lug, lurch, microsecond, millisecond, minute, moment, nip, palpitate, pang, pant, paroxysm, pinch, pluck, pound, prick, quake, quaver, quiver, rictus, sec, second, seizure, shake, sharp pain, shiver, shock, shoot, shooting, shooting pain, shrink, shudder, smart, snake, snap, snatch, spasm, split second, squirm, stab, stabbing pain, start, stitch, stroke, sudden pull, suffer, swell, swell with emotion, thrill, thrill to, throb, throes, tic, tick, tingle, tingle with excitement, tormen, toss, toss and turn, tremble, tremor, trice, tumble, turn on to, tweak, twinge, twink, twinkle, twinkling, twist and turn, twitter, two shakes, vellicate, wiggle, wince, wink, wobble, wrench, wriggle, writhe, yank, yerk
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