• synonyms


  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


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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for trepidations

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The purchase was partly an indication of the trepidations of that period Of my life.

  • It is not easy to describe my trepidations while this conference was holding.

    Arthur Mervyn

    Charles Brockden Brown

  • Nothing of the kind, no amorous addresses, no trepidations, no laments.

    The Cathedral

    Joris-Karl Huysmans

  • And the jest and joy of Israel's care-free life was to make them skip and shiver and dance to the tune of their trepidations.

  • Trepidations—Subtle principle—Perverse imagination—Are they mine?


    George Borrow

British Dictionary definitions for trepidations


  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

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 trepidations



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

trepidations 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.