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verb (used without object)
  1. to tremble with a sudden convulsive movement, as from horror, fear, or cold.
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  1. a convulsive movement of the body, as from horror, fear, or cold.
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Origin of shudder

1275–1325; Middle English shodderen (v.) (cognate with German schaudern < LG), frequentative of Old English scūdan to tremble; see -er6
Can be confusedshudder shutter


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1. quiver. See shiver1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

gyrate, shiver, tremble, convulse, twitter, wave, shimmy, quake, tremor, dither, jitter

Examples from the Web for shudder

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British Dictionary definitions for shudder


  1. (intr) to shake or tremble suddenly and violently, as from horror, fear, aversion, etc
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  1. the act of shuddering; convulsive shiver
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Derived Formsshuddering, adjectiveshudderingly, adverbshuddery, adjective

Word Origin

C18: from Middle Low German schōderen; related to Old Frisian skedda to shake, Old High German skutten 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 shudder


early 14c., possibly from Middle Dutch schuderen "to shudder," or Middle Low German schoderen, both frequentative forms from Proto-Germanic *skuth- "to shake." Related: Shuddered; shuddering.

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c.1600, from shudder (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper