Titter vs titer

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Titter and titer are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables titter and titer, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Titter means a giggle, snicker, or suppressed laugh. A titter often is a result of nervousness or laughing at something one should not be laughing at. Titter is used as a noun and an intransitive verb, which is a verb that does not take an object. Related words are titters, tittered, tittering. The word titter is derived from an imitation of the sound of tittering and came into use in the 1600s.

Titer means the concentration of a substance in a solution or the concentration of antibodies or another substance in the blood. Titer is a noun that is derived from the French word, titrer, which means the purity of silver or gold in an item such as a coin.


“Whatever, it is certain that she was one of a kind, and her curious behavior caused excited titters of whispered gossip in the upper strata of 18th century social circles on two continents.” (Daily Press)

In recent years, the mere mention of Deutsche Bank’s wholesale business has been enough to elicit a titter from rival bosses. (Reuters)

Although IgG antibody levels were highly correlated with neutralizing antibody titers (Spearman’s rank correlation between 0.68 and 0.75), the regression relationship between the IgG and neutralizing antibody levels depended on the time since receipt of the second vaccine dose. (New England Journal of Medicine)

People older than 80 years were found to have lower SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody titers and neutralizing titers compared with people younger than 60 years after the first and second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, according to study results published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. (Infectious Disease Advisor)