1. a convulsive movement of the body, as from horror, fear, or cold.

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

Synonyms for shudder

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

Related Words for shuddered

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

Examples from the Web for shuddered

Contemporary Examples of shuddered

Historical Examples of shuddered

  • He shuddered as he thought how near he had been to never meeting them again on earth.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • "You're as thin as a starved—wolf," she said, and closed her eyes and shuddered.

  • Sylvia shuddered, but had not power to turn away her white face from his gaze.

    Sylph Etherege

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • She shuddered, as with a mechanical movement she passed her fingers over her eyes.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • He had such a distinct perception of ruin and death that he shuddered again.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for shuddered


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

Word Origin for shudder

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 shuddered



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.



c.1600, from shudder (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper