- to shake involuntarily with quick, short movements, as from fear, excitement, weakness, or cold; quake; quiver.
- to be troubled with fear or apprehension.
- (of things) to be affected with vibratory motion.
- to be tremulous, as light or sound: His voice trembled.
- the act of trembling.
- a state or fit of trembling.
- trembles, (used with a singular verb)
- Pathology.milk sickness.
- Veterinary Pathology.a toxic condition of cattle and sheep caused by the eating of white snakeroot and characterized by muscular tremors.
Origin of tremble
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tremble
The city, the state, the whole land, were ready to rise and tremble before the Pallid Mask.
He began to read, raising his eyebrows with a puzzled, whimsical air, which made me tremble with suppressed anger.
Who is this woman going toe-to-toe with Wintour, when all others appear to tremble, and who excels because of it?Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington’s Memoir Offers Few Revelations
November 20, 2012
I just tremble when I think about how tremendous this moment is.Before the Rapture
May 19, 2011
During this time, the ground continued to tremble, albeit less violently.My Earthquake Experience in Tokyo
March 11, 2011
If they tremble down the fine-skinned cheek, let us avert our gaze.
Humans are funniest when they weep and tremble before, like you say, 'the facts in the case.'
Just then, up came my father, with a sternness in his looks that made me tremble.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
It squeaked under his weight, he felt the rungs bow and tremble.Way of the Lawless
There are ghosts whom I tremble to meet, and cannot think of without a shudder.Other Tales and Sketches
- to vibrate with short slight movements; quiver
- to shake involuntarily, as with cold or fear; shiver
- to experience fear or anxiety
- the act or an instance of trembling
Word Origin and History for tremble
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.