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90s Slang You Should Know


[as-puh n] /ˈæs pən/
any of various poplars, as Populus tremula, of Europe, and P. tremuloides (quaking aspen) or P. alba (white aspen) of America, having soft wood and alternate ovate leaves that tremble in the slightest breeze.
of or relating to the aspen.
trembling or quivering, like the leaves of the aspen.
Origin of aspen
1350-1400; Middle English aspen (adj.), Old English æspen; cognate with Old Frisian espen (adj.), espenbeam, Middle Dutch espenboom, Old High German espîn (adj.). See asp2, -en2


[as-puh n] /ˈæs pən/
a town in central Colorado: ski resort. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for aspen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I remember a sub-lieutenant trembling like an aspen leaf: he had neglected to call my carriage.

    Old Kensington Miss Thackeray
  • I seized the bridle, and he sprang up; but I could feel that he was shivering like an aspen.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • The beaver was anxious to reach a spot in the aspen grove where we could hear the other beavers at work.

    Polly and Eleanor Lillian Elizabeth Roy
  • Well, she trembled like an aspen leaf, trembled like one in an ague, even as she sat.

    A Simpleton Charles Reade
  • He had pitched his camp at the edge of a thicket of alder and aspen near a narrow stream of water in a big arroyo.

    Square Deal Sanderson Charles Alden Seltzer
British Dictionary definitions for aspen


any of several trees of the salicaceous genus Populus, such as P. tremula of Europe, in which the leaves are attached to the stem by long flattened stalks so that they quiver in the wind Archaic name asp
(archaic, mainly literary) trembling
Word Origin
Old English æspe; see asp²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for aspen

late 14c., from adjective or genitive form of Old English æspe "aspen tree, white poplar," from Proto-Germanic *aspo (cf. Old Norse ösp, Middle Dutch espe, Old High German aspa, German Espe), from PIE *apsa "aspen" (cf. Lithuanian opuse). The current form in English probably arose from phrases such as aspen leaf, aspen bark. Its leaves have been figurative of tremulousness and quaking since at least early 15c. (an Old English name for it was cwicbeam, literally "quick-tree").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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