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tremble

[trem-buh l] /ˈtrɛm bəl/
verb (used without object), trembled, trembling.
1.
to shake involuntarily with quick, short movements, as from fear, excitement, weakness, or cold; quake; quiver.
2.
to be troubled with fear or apprehension.
3.
(of things) to be affected with vibratory motion.
4.
to be tremulous, as light or sound:
His voice trembled.
noun
5.
the act of trembling.
6.
a state or fit of trembling.
7.
trembles, (used with a singular verb)
  1. Pathology. milk sickness.
  2. Veterinary Pathology. a toxic condition of cattle and sheep caused by the eating of white snakeroot and characterized by muscular tremors.
Origin of tremble
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English trem(b)len (v.) < Old French trembler < Vulgar Latin *tremulāre, derivative of Latin tremulus tremulous
Related forms
tremblingly, adverb
untrembling, adjective
untremblingly, adverb
Synonyms
1. shudder. See shake. 3. oscillate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tremble
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If they tremble down the fine-skinned cheek, let us avert our gaze.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Humans are funniest when they weep and tremble before, like you say, 'the facts in the case.'

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • It squeaked under his weight, he felt the rungs bow and tremble.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Just then, up came my father, with a sternness in his looks that made me tremble.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • There are ghosts whom I tremble to meet, and cannot think of without a shudder.

    Other Tales and Sketches Nathaniel Hawthorne
British Dictionary definitions for tremble

tremble

/ˈtrɛmbəl/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to vibrate with short slight movements; quiver
2.
to shake involuntarily, as with cold or fear; shiver
3.
to experience fear or anxiety
noun
4.
the act or an instance of trembling
Derived Forms
trembling, adjective
tremblingly, adverb
trembly, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French trembler, from Medieval Latin tremulāre, from Latin tremulus quivering, from tremere to quake
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 tremble
v.

c.1300, "shake from fear, cold, etc.," from Old French trembler "tremble, fear" (11c.), from Vulgar Latin *tremulare (source of Italian tremolare, Spanish temblar), from Latin tremulus "trembling, tremulous," from tremere "to tremble, shiver, quake," from PIE *trem- "to tremble" (cf. Greek tremein "to shiver, tremble," Lithuanian trimu "to chase away," Old Church Slavonic treso "to shake," Gothic þramstei "grasshopper"). A native word for this was Old English bifian. Related: Trembled; trembling. The noun is recorded from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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