• synonyms


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  1. tremulous fear, alarm, or agitation; perturbation.
  2. trembling or quivering movement; tremor.
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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
Related formstrep·i·da·tious, adjectivetrep·i·da·tious·ly, adverb

Synonyms for trepidation

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1. trembling, fright. 2. quivering, shaking.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for trepidation


  1. a state of fear or anxiety
  2. a condition of quaking or palpitation, esp one caused by anxiety
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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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

trepidation in Medicine


  1. An involuntary trembling or quivering.
  2. A state of anxious fear; apprehension.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.