[ shiv-er ]
/ ˈʃɪv ər /
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See synonyms for: shiver / shivering on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)

to shake or tremble with cold, fear, excitement, etc.
  1. (of a fore-and-aft sail) to shake when too close to the wind.
  2. (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.
(the) shivers, an attack of shivering or chills.



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Origin of shiver

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English noun chivere; later sh-, apparently for the sake of alliteration in phrase chiver and shake
1. Shiver, quake, shudder refer to a vibratory muscular movement, a trembling, usually involuntary. We shiver with cold, or a sensation such as that of cold: to shiver in thin clothing on a frosty day; to shiver with pleasant anticipation. We quake especially with fear: to quake with fright. We shudder with horror or abhorrence; the agitation is more powerful and deep-seated than shivering or trembling: to shudder at pictures of a concentration camp.
shiv·er·er, nounshiv·er·ing·ly, adverb

Definition for shiver (2 of 2)

[ shiv-er ]
/ ˈʃɪv ər /

verb (used with or without object)

to break or split into fragments.


a fragment; splinter.

Origin of shiver

1150–1200; (noun) Middle English schivere fragment; cognate with German Schiefer schist; (v.) Middle English schiveren, derivative of the noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for shiver (1 of 2)

/ (ˈʃɪvə) /

verb (intr)

to shake or tremble, as from cold or fear
  1. (of a sail) to luff; flap or shake
  2. (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
shiverer, nounshivering, adjective
C13 chiveren, perhaps variant of chevelen to chatter (used of teeth), from Old English ceafl jowl 1

British Dictionary definitions for shiver (2 of 2)

/ (ˈʃɪvə) /


to break or cause to break into fragments


a splintered piece
C13: of Germanic origin; compare Old High German scivaro, Middle Dutch scheveren to shiver, Old Norse skīfa to split
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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