quaver

verb
qua·​ver | \ˈkwā-vər \
quavered; quavering\ ˈkwā-​və-​riŋ , ˈkwāv-​riŋ \

Definition of quaver 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : tremble

2 : trill

3 : to utter sound in tremulous tones

quaver

noun

Definition of quaver (Entry 2 of 2)

3 : a tremulous sound

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Other Words from quaver

Verb

quaveringly adverb
quavery \ ˈkwā-​və-​rē , ˈkwāv-​rē \ adjective

Synonyms for quaver

Synonyms: Verb

trill, warble

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Examples of quaver in a Sentence

Verb

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

Noun

There was a quaver in his voice.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Cracked, punched, slathered, and slabbed, Zhang’s works are visceral embodiments of quavering humanity. Julia Couzens, sacbee, "Power to the people -- through clay | The Sacramento Bee," 4 May 2018 Prada clothing, meanwhile, looks backward and forward at the same time, quavering between retro and 21st-century originality. Brad Dunning, GQ, "These Are the 8 Architectural Wonders Of the Fashion World," 28 Mar. 2018 Elizabeth Drumm, the head of the programme, made some introductory remarks, her voice quavering. The Economist, "Blue on blueArguments over free speech on campus are not left v right," 7 Sep. 2017 Mrs. Obama said in a 25-minute speech here during which her voice at times quavered with emotion. Julie Hirschfeld Davis, New York Times, "Michelle Obama Denounces Trump’s Words on Women," 13 Oct. 2016 Like O’Toole, David’s voice is quavering cut glass but his body seems ravaged by time and exposure. Josephine Livingstone, New Republic, "How the Androids Took Over the Alien Franchise," 23 May 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Dudamel ripped through the beginning of the final movement at a Bernstein-esque speed, but reined in the final march, and between the insistent quavers and beats of the strict rhythm seemed to lie carefully compressed rage about to shake loose. Zoë Madonna, BostonGlobe.com, "Los Angeles Philharmonic splashes down at Symphony Hall," 26 Apr. 2018 Fish sings on that last number, trading her familiar bluesy shout for a delicate quaver that sounds more like Iris Dement than B.B. King. Noah Berlatsky, Chicago Reader, "Samantha Fish turns from blues to roots rock, and vice versa," 18 Jan. 2018 Stevens is famous for his soft quaver and his penchant for fiercely committing to concrete concepts, whether that concept is an album about the state of Michigan or an album about the death of his mother. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "A Musical Voyage Through the Solar System, Darkly," 8 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quaver.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of quaver

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for quaver

Verb

Middle English, frequentative of quaven to tremble

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Dictionary Entries near quaver

quattuordecillion

quatuor

quauk

quaver

quaw

quawk

quay

Statistics for quaver

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for quaver

The first known use of quaver was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for quaver

quaver

verb

English Language Learners Definition of quaver

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

quaver

noun

English Language Learners Definition of quaver (Entry 2 of 2)

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

quaver

verb
qua·​ver | \ˈkwā-vər \
quavered; quavering

Kids Definition of quaver

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

quaver

noun

Kids Definition of quaver (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

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Comments on quaver

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