Dictionary

1quaver

verb qua·ver \ˈkwā-vər\

of your voice : to produce sound in an unsteady way especially because you are afraid or nervous

qua·veredqua·ver·ing \ˈkwā-və-riŋ, ˈkwāv-riŋ\

Full Definition of QUAVER

intransitive verb
1
:  tremble
2
:  trill
3
:  to utter sound in tremulous tones
transitive verb
:  to utter quaveringly
qua·ver·ing·ly adverb
qua·very \ˈkwā-və-rē, ˈkwāv-rē\ adjective
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Examples of QUAVER

  1. Her voice quavered during the speech.
  2. He spoke in quavering tones.

Origin of QUAVER

Middle English, frequentative of quaven to tremble
First Known Use: 15th century

Related to QUAVER

2quaver

noun

: an unsteady sound in someone's voice that is caused by fear or other strong emotions

Full Definition of QUAVER

2
:  trill 1
3
:  a tremulous sound

Examples of QUAVER

  1. There was a quaver in his voice.

First Known Use of QUAVER

1570

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue
QUAVERINGLY Defined for Kids

1quaver

verb qua·ver \ˈkwā-vər\
qua·veredqua·ver·ing

Definition of QUAVER for Kids

:  to sound in shaky or unsteady tones <My voice quavered nervously.>

2quaver

noun

Definition of QUAVER for Kids

:  a sound that trembles or is unsteady <My voice was a little too loud and there was a distinct quaver in it … — Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved>

Headscratcher for QUAVER

Quaver and quiver look a lot alike, sound a lot alike, and in fact they both mean to tremble.

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