[ trep-i-dey-shuhn ]
/ ˌtrɛp ɪˈdeɪ ʃən /


tremulous fear, alarm, or agitation; perturbation.
trembling or quivering movement; tremor.

Nearby words

  1. trephination,
  2. trephine,
  3. trepid,
  4. trepidant,
  5. trepidatio cordis,
  6. treponema,
  7. treponema pallidum,
  8. treponema pallidum hemagglutination test,
  9. treponema pallidum immobilization test,
  10. treponema pertenue

Origin of trepidation

1595–1605; < Latin trepidātiōn- (stem of trepidātiō), equivalent to trepidāt(us) (past participle of trepidāre to hurry, alarm; see trepid, -ate1) + -iōn- -ion

SYNONYMS FOR trepidation
1. trembling, fright. 2. quivering, shaking.

Related formstrep·i·da·tious, adjectivetrep·i·da·tious·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trepidation

British Dictionary definitions for trepidation


/ (ˌtrɛpɪˈdeɪʃən) /


a state of fear or anxiety
a condition of quaking or palpitation, esp one caused by anxiety

Word Origin for trepidation

C17: from Latin trepidātiō, from trepidāre to be in a state of alarm; compare intrepid

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 trepidation



c.1600, from Latin trepidationem (nominative trepidatio) "agitation, alarm, trembling," noun of action from past participle stem of trepidare "to tremble, hurry," from trepidus "alarmed, scared," from PIE *trep- "to shake, tremble" (cf. Sanskrit trprah "hasty," Old Church Slavonic trepetati "to tremble"), related to *trem- (see tremble).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for trepidation


[ trĕp′ĭ-dāshən ]


An involuntary trembling or quivering.
A state of anxious fear; apprehension.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.