trembling or quivering with fear, dread, cold, etc.
Also shud·der·y. characterized by or causing a shudder: a shuddering plunge of the ship.

Origin of shuddering

Related formsshud·der·ing·ly, adverbun·shud·der·ing, adjective



verb (used without object)

to tremble with a sudden convulsive movement, as from horror, fear, or cold.


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. 2019

Related Words for shuddering

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

Examples from the Web for shuddering

Contemporary Examples of shuddering

  • During an Obama-Perry contest, millions of Americans on both sides would be shuddering constantly for four months.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Rick Perry: Red-State Warrior

    Michael Tomasky

    August 13, 2011

Historical Examples of shuddering

British Dictionary definitions for shuddering



(intr) to shake or tremble suddenly and violently, as from horror, fear, aversion, etc


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 shuddering



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