- to shake or tremble with cold, fear, excitement, etc.
- (of a fore-and-aft sail) to shake when too close to the wind.
- (of a sailing vessel) to be headed so close to the wind that the sails shake.
- a tremulous motion; a tremble or quiver: The thought sent a shiver down her spine.
- shivers, an attack of shivering or chills (usually preceded by the).
Origin of shiver1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for shiver on Thesaurus.com
- to break or split into fragments.
- a fragment; splinter.
Origin of shiver2
Examples from the Web for shiver
You know, a novel comes not from a decision but a frisson, a sort of shiver that goes through you.Martin Amis Talks About Nazis, Novels, and Cute Babies
Ronald K. Fried
October 9, 2014
I remember being shocked that Shiver sold in 38 countries, because I thought it was such a particularly “me” story.Maggie Stiefvater Talks New Novel ‘The Raven Boys,’ Fast Cars, and YA Fiction
September 28, 2012
For Americans of a certain age, these words, even in our cynical time, yield a shiver of nostalgia, but also of purpose.Remembering the Wordsmith
Richard J. Tofel
November 1, 2010
There was one other peculiar moment that gave rise to a shiver of unwanted Somali memories.From Bullets to Ballet
October 16, 2010
You shiver because your grandfathers and fathers and uncles have shivered there before you.Tiverton Tales
He did not see Dick, but his very presence gave the lad a shiver.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
I'm in a shiver about you, but—It's all true, Roger, what your mother said about 2nd Lieutenants.Echoes of the War
J. M. Barrie
Her gaze was fixed upon him; he saw her shiver, and knew that she saw and recognized him.Salted With Fire
It snowed and stormed, and she was allowed to shiver on the platform.Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863
- to shake or tremble, as from cold or fear
- (of a sail) to luff; flap or shake
- (of a sailing vessel) to sail close enough to the wind to make the sails luff
- the act of shivering; a tremulous motion
- the shivers an attack of shivering, esp through fear or illness
- to break or cause to break into fragments
- a splintered piece
Word Origin and History for shiver
"shake," c.1400, alteration of chiveren (c.1200), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old English ceafl "jaw," on notion of chattering teeth. Spelling change of ch- to sh- is probably from influence of shake. Related: Shivered; shivering.
"small piece, splinter, fragment, chip," c.1200, perhaps from an unrecorded Old English word, related to Middle Low German schever schiver "splinter," Old High German scivero, from Proto-Germanic *skif- "split" (cf. Old High German skivaro "splinter," German Schiefer "splinter, slate"), from PIE *skei- "to cut, split" (see shed (v.)). Commonly in phrases to break to shivers "break into bits" (mid-15c.). Also, shiver is still dialectal for "a splinter" in Norfolk and Lincolnshire.
"to break in or into many small pieces," c.1200, from the source of shiver (n.). Chiefly in phrase shiver me timbers (1835), "a mock oath attributed in comic fiction to sailors" [OED]. My timbers! as a nautical oath (probably euphemistic) is attested from 1789 (see timber (n.)). Related: Shivered; shivering.
"a tremulous, quivering motion," 1727, from shiver (v.1). The shivers in reference to fever chills is from 1861.