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tremulous

[trem-yuh-luh s]
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adjective
  1. (of persons, the body, etc.) characterized by trembling, as from fear, nervousness, or weakness.
  2. timid; timorous; fearful.
  3. (of things) vibratory, shaking, or quivering.
  4. (of writing) done with a trembling hand.
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Origin of tremulous

1605–15; < Latin tremulus, equivalent to trem(ere) to tremble + -ulus adj. suffix
Related formstrem·u·lous·ly, adverbtrem·u·lous·ness, nounun·trem·u·lous, adjectiveun·trem·u·lous·ly, adverbun·trem·u·lous·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. faltering, hesitant, wavering. 2. frightened; afraid.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tremulous

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The aged philosopher endeavoured to speak, but his voice was tremulous with emotion.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • The bridge was tremulous beneath me, and marked the tremor of the solid earth.

    Other Tales and Sketches

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "It was my father's sword," replied Theseus, with a tremulous voice.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • In the first place, Marcia's tremulous state made it difficult.

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • He was feeble, and his hands were tremulous with a perpetual nervous motion.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon


British Dictionary definitions for tremulous

tremulous

adjective
  1. vibrating slightly; quavering; tremblinga tremulous voice
  2. showing or characterized by fear, anxiety, excitement, etc
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Derived Formstremulously, adverbtremulousness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin tremulus quivering, from tremere to shake
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 tremulous

adj.

1610s, from Latin tremulus "shaking, quivering," from tremere (see tremble).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tremulous in Medicine

tremulous

(trĕmyə-ləs)
adj.
  1. Characterized by tremor.
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Related formstremu•lous•ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.