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[trem-er, tree-mer] /ˈtrɛm ər, ˈtri mər/
involuntary shaking of the body or limbs, as from disease, fear, weakness, or excitement; a fit of trembling.
any tremulous or vibratory movement; vibration:
tremors following an earthquake.
a trembling or quivering effect, as of light.
a quavering sound, as of the voice.
Origin of tremor
1325-75; Middle English < Latin: a trembling, equivalent to trem(ere) to tremble + -or -or1
Related forms
tremorous, adjective
1. shudder, shiver, quiver. 3. oscillation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tremor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The bridge was tremulous beneath me, and marked the tremor of the solid earth.

    Other Tales and Sketches Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • With great difficulty and tremor they succeeded in forcing the door.

    Browne's Folly Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • A second time she interrupted herself in the tremor of the words she pronounced.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • There was a tremor of laughter in her voice, but her eyes were grave and earnest.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • But Page perceived the tremor of battle that ran through her.

    The Coryston Family Mrs. Humphry Ward
British Dictionary definitions for tremor


an involuntary shudder or vibration, as from illness, fear, shock, etc
any trembling or quivering movement
a vibrating or trembling effect, as of sound or light
Also called earth tremor. a minor earthquake
(intransitive) to tremble
Derived Forms
tremorless, adjective
tremorous, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin: a shaking, from tremere to tremble, 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 tremor

late 14c., "terror," from Old French tremor "fear, terror" (13c.), from Latin tremorem (nominative tremor) "a trembling, terror," from tremere (see tremble). Sense of "an involuntary shaking" first recorded 1610s and probably represents a re-introduction from Latin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tremor in Medicine

tremor trem·or (trěm'ər)

  1. An involuntary trembling movement.

  2. Minute ocular movement occurring during fixation on an object.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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tremor in Science
  1. A relatively minor seismic shaking or vibrating movement. Tremors often precede larger earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

  2. An involuntary shaking or trembling of the head or extremities that can be idiopathic or associated with any of various medical conditions, such as Parkinson's disease.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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