• synonyms


[trem-er, tree-mer]
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  1. involuntary shaking of the body or limbs, as from disease, fear, weakness, or excitement; a fit of trembling.
  2. any tremulous or vibratory movement; vibration: tremors following an earthquake.
  3. a trembling or quivering effect, as of light.
  4. a quavering sound, as of the voice.
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Origin of tremor

1325–75; Middle English < Latin: a trembling, equivalent to trem(ere) to tremble + -or -or1
Related formstrem·or·ous, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for tremorous

Historical Examples

  • Even now, putting out her tremorous feeler, she shrank back from his refusal.

    The Combined Maze

    May Sinclair

  • Nanna grasped the hands held out to her, hanging her head on one side, and smiling her tremorous, bashful smile.

    The Helpmate

    May Sinclair

British Dictionary definitions for tremorous


  1. an involuntary shudder or vibration, as from illness, fear, shock, etc
  2. any trembling or quivering movement
  3. a vibrating or trembling effect, as of sound or light
  4. Also called: earth tremor a minor earthquake
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  1. (intr) to tremble
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Derived Formstremorless, adjectivetremorous, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Latin: a shaking, from tremere to tremble, quake
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 tremorous



late 14c., "terror," from Old French tremor "fear, terror" (13c.), from Latin tremorem (nominative tremor) "a trembling, terror," from tremere (see tremble). Sense of "an involuntary shaking" first recorded 1610s and probably represents a re-introduction from Latin.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tremorous in Medicine


  1. An involuntary trembling movement.
  2. Minute ocular movement occurring during fixation on an object.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

tremorous in Science


  1. A relatively minor seismic shaking or vibrating movement. Tremors often precede larger earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.
  2. An involuntary shaking or trembling of the head or extremities that can be idiopathic or associated with any of various medical conditions, such as Parkinson's disease.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.