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From Middle English twicchen, from Old English *twi??an, from Proto-Germanic *twikkijan? (“to nail, pin, fasten, clasp, pinch”). Cognate with English tweak, Low German twikken, German Low German twicken (“to pinch, pinch off”), zweck?n and gizwickan (> German zwicken (“to pinch”)).
twitch (plural twitches)
- A brief, small (sometimes involuntary) movement out of place and then back again; a spasm.
- (informal) Action of spotting or seeking out a bird, especially a rare one.
- (farriery) A stick with a hole in one end through which passes a loop, which can be drawn tightly over the upper lip or an ear of a horse and twisted to keep the animal quiet during minor surgery.
- (physiology) A brief, contractile response of a skeletal muscle elicited by a single maximal volley of impulses in the neurons supplying it.
- (mining) The sudden narrowing almost to nothing of a vein of ore.
- Elymus repens, a grass.
- (intransitive) To perform a twitch; spasm.
- (transitive) To jerk sharply and briefly.
- (transitive) To spot or seek out a bird, especially a rare one.
alternate of quitch