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[trep-i-dey-shuh n] /ˌtrɛp ɪˈdeɪ ʃən/
tremulous fear, alarm, or agitation; perturbation.
trembling or quivering movement; tremor.
Origin of trepidation
1595-1605; < Latin trepidātiōn- (stem of trepidātiō), equivalent to trepidāt(us) (past participle of trepidāre to hurry, alarm; see trepid, -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
trepidatious, adjective
trepidatiously, adverb
1. trembling, fright. 2. quivering, shaking. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for trepidations
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Its waxings and wanings were marked by curious "trepidations" of brightness extremely perplexing to theory.

  • The purchase was partly an indication of the trepidations of that period Of my life.

  • The refined warmth of Bartley's welcome seemed to make Kinney feel at home, in spite of his trepidations at Marcia's presence.

    A Modern Instance William Dean Howells
  • It is not easy to describe my trepidations while this conference was holding.

    Arthur Mervyn Charles Brockden Brown
  • Nothing of the kind, no amorous addresses, no trepidations, no laments.

    The Cathedral Joris-Karl Huysmans
  • And the jest and joy of Israel's care-free life was to make them skip and shiver and dance to the tune of their trepidations.

    Americans All Various
  • trepidations—Subtle principle—Perverse imagination—Are they mine?

    Lavengro George Borrow
  • The trepidations of my mother kept pace with those of her husband; but she was intimidated into silence.

    Wieland; or The Transformation Charles Brockden Brown
  • The tale that I heard from him, and his present trepidations, were abundant testimonies of his guilt.

    Wieland; or The Transformation Charles Brockden Brown
British Dictionary definitions for trepidations


a state of fear or anxiety
a condition of quaking or palpitation, esp one caused by anxiety
Word Origin
C17: from Latin trepidātiō, from trepidāre to be in a state of alarm; compare intrepid
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 trepidations



c.1600, from Latin trepidationem (nominative trepidatio) "agitation, alarm, trembling," noun of action from past participle stem of trepidare "to tremble, hurry," from trepidus "alarmed, scared," from PIE *trep- "to shake, tremble" (cf. Sanskrit trprah "hasty," Old Church Slavonic trepetati "to tremble"), related to *trem- (see tremble).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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trepidations in Medicine

trepidation trep·i·da·tion (trěp'ĭ-dā'shən)

  1. An involuntary trembling or quivering.

  2. A state of anxious fear; apprehension.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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