Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Marked by trembling, quivering, or shaking.
  • adj. Timid or fearful; timorous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Trembling, quivering, or shaking.
  • adj. Timid, hesitant, or unconfident.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Shaking; shivering; quivering.
  • adj. Affected with fear or timidity; trembling.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Trembling; shaking; quivering; vibrating; unsteady.
  • Lacking firmness, resolution, or courage; feeble; wavering; timid.
  • In entomology, finely wavy: as, a tremulous line.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of the voice) quivering as from weakness or fear

Etymologies

From Latin tremulus, from tremere, to tremble.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin tremulus, from tremō ("I shake"). Compare with Greek τρέμω (trémō). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Pool clapped his hands, and the little maid ran out of the house to him in tremulous, fluttery haste.

    The Bones of Kahekili

  • In the first gush of our sorrow and our indignation because of this atrocity, we waited not for any official prompting to pour forth our grief in tremulous, glowing words of mingled emotion, as the irrepressible bidding of our hearts draped our homes and our sanctuaries in the weeds of a national funeral.

    A Discourse in Memory of our Late President, Abraham Lincoln

  • He spoke – but no soft voice in tremulous whispers, replied.

    The Old Manor House

  • I recalled the tremulous hand that he had offered me.

    The Eye of Osiris

  • Greatly daring, he had himself written to Veranilda; in brief terms, but every word tremulous with his passion.

    Veranilda

  • She lowered her eyelids, and the deeper breathing of her bosom gave to her voice when she did speak a tremulous tone: --

    The Lesser Bourgeoisie

  • But, just a suggestion, I wouldn't use "tremulous" that early in a book, the people picking the book up at the store that are glancing at the first few paragraphs to see if they like the writing may put it down because they may think it's over their heads.

    HH Com 298

  • As the teacher read on, her color changed, and a kind of tremulous agitation came over her.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 29, March, 1860

  • Sauvages, by this just distinction, actually separates this kind of tremulous motion, and which is the kind peculiar to this disease, from the Genus Tremor.

    An Essay on the Shaking Palsy

  • There was a kind of tremulous defiance in her tone, as if she half expected me to question it.

    McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908

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Comments

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  • Quite interesting is that the aspen tree with its forever trembling leaves, has as its latin name Populus tremula.

    July 8, 2008