flutter

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Related to fluttered: fluttered eyelashes
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a flutter in the dovecote

A stir or mild disturbance among a certain organization or group of people, especially one that is typically quiet, reserved, or conservative in nature. Likened to domestic pigeons fluttering their wings in response to an agitation (a dovecote being a structure built to house and raise them). The unexpected entrance of an exuberant young woman caused a bit of a flutter in the dovecote at the old Men's Only club.
See also: dovecote, flutter

flutter (one's) eyelashes

To flirt with or feign romantic interest in someone. (Literally fluttering one's eyelashes is an exaggerated way of doing so.) Usually but not exclusively refers to women. She kept fluttering her eyelashes at me each time I talked to her, so I'm thinking of asking her out on a date. I like to flutter my eyelashes at bartenders to see if I can get a drink or two for free.
See also: eyelash, flutter

flutter about

1. Literally, to fly around some thing or place in a quick, deft manner. The kids are outside, trying to catch the lightning bugs that are fluttering about.
2. By extension, to move quickly around some place or area. I think Anita is fluttering about the office, straightening up. Good luck finding her.
See also: flutter

flutter around (something)

1. Literally, to fly around some thing or place in a quick, deft manner. The kids are outside, trying to catch the lightning bugs that are fluttering around.
2. By extension, to move quickly around some place or area. I think Anita is fluttering around the office, straightening things up. Good luck finding her.
See also: around, flutter

flutter down

To fall or move slowly or gently downward through the air. The papers slipped out of my hand and fluttered down to the ground.
See also: down, flutter

flutter over (someone or something)

To move through the air above someone or something. A butterfly fluttered over us and then landed in the plants.
See also: flutter, over

flutter the dovecote

To cause a stir or mild disturbance among a certain organization or group of people, especially one that is typically quiet, reserved, or conservative in nature. Likened to domestic pigeons fluttering their wings in response to an agitation (a dovecote being a structure built to house and raise them). The exuberant young woman fluttered the dovecote of the old Men's Only club by bursting in unannounced.
See also: dovecote, flutter

in a dither

In a nervous, confused, or agitated state. We were in a dither waiting to meet the president at our school rally. The economy is still in a dither after news that the country's largest corporation has filed for bankruptcy.
See also: dither

in a flutter

In a nervous, confused, or agitated state. We were all in a flutter waiting to meet the President at our school rally. The economy is still in a flutter after news that the country's largest corporation has filed for bankruptcy.
See also: flutter

flutter about

 and flutter around 
1. Lit. to fly about with quick, flapping motions of the wings. The moths fluttered about aimlessly. A few birds fluttered around.
2. Fig. [for someone] to move about quickly and busily. Aunt Margaret fluttered about, picking up after everyone. Stop fluttering around and sit down!
See also: flutter

flutter about something

 and flutter around something 
1. Lit. to fly around something or some place. The moths were fluttering about the lightbulb. The butterflies fluttered around the bright flowers.
2. Fig. to keep moving busily within a particular place. The maid fluttered about the house, dusting and arranging. She fluttered around the house from room to room.
See also: flutter

flutter down

[for flying or falling things] to flap or float downward. The butterflies fluttered down onto the flowers. The leaves fluttered down from the trees when the breeze blew.
See also: down, flutter

flutter over someone or something

to fly or flap above someone or something. (Also said of a person being fussy about someone or something.) The little moths fluttered over us while we were in the garden. The birds flutter over the fountain, eager for a bath.
See also: flutter, over

in a dither

confused; nervous; bothered. Mary is sort of in a dither lately. Don't get yourself in a dither.
See also: dither

in a dither

Also, all of a dither; in a flutter or tizzy . In a state of tremulous agitation, as in Planning the wedding put her in a dither, or He tried to pull himself together, but he was all of a dither, or She showed up in such a flutter that our meeting was useless. The noun dither dates from the early 1800s and goes back to the Middle English verb didderen, "to tremble"; in a flutter dates from the mid-1700s; in a tizzy dates from about 1930 and is of uncertain origin.
See also: dither

flutter the dovecotes

alarm, startle, or upset a sedate or conventionally minded community.
This expression may come from Shakespeare's Coriolanus: ‘like an eagle in a dove-cote, I Fluttered your Volscians in Corioli’. Compare with put the cat among the pigeons (at cat).
1992 Daily Telegraph It is however the arrival of Michael Heseltine at the DTI that will flutter the dovecotes most of all.
See also: dovecote, flutter

flutter your eyelashes

open and close your eyes rapidly in a coyly flirtatiousmanner.
See also: eyelash, flutter

in a dither

mod. confused; undecided. Don’t get yourself in a dither.
See also: dither
References in classic literature ?
The paper dolls were mowed down by dozens, and flew and fluttered in wild confusion in every direction, tumbling this way and that and getting more or less wrinkled and bent.
No plume or nobloy fluttered from his plain tilting salade, and even his lance was devoid of the customary banderole.
A scene from the film shot atop a New York City subway vent, in which Monroe's white dress is fluttered upward by gushing air from a passing train made the actress a superstar.
The wings "fluttered" or "twirled" to the ground, while the portion of the cabin continued forward and down to the ground.
Only 4% of bar staff said customers who fluttered a fiver in their direction would get their drinks more quickly.