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tremble

[trem-buh l]
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verb (used without object), trem·bled, trem·bling.
  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
  1. the act of trembling.
  2. a state or fit of trembling.
  3. 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; Middle English trem(b)len (v.) < Old French trembler < Vulgar Latin *tremulāre, derivative of Latin tremulus tremulous
Related formstrem·bling·ly, adverbun·trem·bling, adjectiveun·trem·bling·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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1. shudder. See shake. 3. oscillate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for trembled

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The spirit of the strong man was moved, and he trembled like a leaf shaken by the wind.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • He appeared very frightened, and trembled from head to foot.

  • I could see and hear all that was going on, and trembled for my safety.

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

  • She had expected to see the doctor, and started and trembled at sight of Hester.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • When he had only kissed her arm—He trembled a little at the memory.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart


British Dictionary definitions for trembled

tremble

verb (intr)
  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
  1. the act or an instance of trembling
Derived Formstrembling, adjectivetremblingly, adverbtrembly, 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

Word Origin and History for trembled

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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