- to shake tremulously; quiver or tremble: He stood there quavering with fear.
- to sound, speak, or sing tremulously: Her voice quavered a moment and then she regained control.
- to perform trills in singing or on a musical instrument.
- to utter, say, or sing with a quavering or tremulous voice.
- a quavering or tremulous shake, especially in the voice.
- a quavering tone or utterance.
- Music (chiefly British ). an eighth note.
Origin of quaver
Examples from the Web for quavery
It was the voice of Grannie, low and quavery; she was rocking the cradle.The Manxman
His voice was high and quavery; not a good pulpit voice, Conn thought.The Cosmic Computer
Henry Beam Piper
It was as quavery as old Doctor Fleury's, the Methodist preacher who's laid off from work.Mary Cary
Kate Langley Bosher
But a thin and quavery and over-disturbing sound from the swing-box out on the sleeping-porch brought me up short.The Prairie Mother
“It would be good to set the mizzen-topgallant,” I heard Captain West mutter in a weak, quavery voice.The Mutiny of the Elsinore
- to say or sing (something) with a trembling voice
- (intr) (esp of the voice) to quiver, tremble, or shake
- (intr) rare to sing or play quavers or ornamental trills
- music a note having the time value of an eighth of a semibreveUsual US and Canadian name: eighth note
- a tremulous sound or note
Word Origin and History for quavery
"to vibrate, tremble," early 15c., probably a frequentative of cwavien "to tremble, shake" (early 13c.), which probably is related to Low German quabbeln "tremble," and possibly of imitative origin. Meaning "sing in trills or quavers" first recorded 1530s. Related: Quavered; quavering.
1560s, in music, "eighth note," from quaver (v.). Meaning "a tremble in the voice" is from 1748.