quaver

verb
qua·​ver | \ ˈkwā-vər How to pronounce quaver (audio) \
quavered; quavering\ ˈkwā-​və-​riŋ How to pronounce quaver (audio) , 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 How to pronounce quaver (audio) , ˈkwāv-​rē \ adjective

Synonyms for quaver

Synonyms: Verb

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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 Occasionally his voice quavered but mostly Affleck spoke earnestly and straightforwardly. Washington Post, "Ben Affleck on the pain and catharsis of ‘The Way Back’," 27 Feb. 2020 Most earthquakes, including those that quavered under southern California this week, stem from cracks in the earth’s crust, known as faults. Anya Van Wagtendonk, Vox, "More earthquakes could come, but predicting them is difficult," 4 July 2019 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 Chasen’s, Trader Vic’s, the damn Derby; the mere mention of even department stores like Bullock’s and the Broadway could bring a tear and a quaver. Los Angeles Times, "Column: I used to mock L.A. nostalgia — until the ArcLight closed. Now I want to howl at the sky," 12 Apr. 2021 There’s also something oddly comforting about the playful oh-well quaver of his voice. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "De-stress With an Election-Anxiety Playlist," 23 Oct. 2020 Hadreas’s voice quavers, sliding from a falsetto to a low, fifties croon. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "Perfume Genius Wants to Make You Feel Less Lonely," 12 May 2020 Big Thief Big Thief’s main vocalist, Adrianne Lenker, has a voice that’s always a kind of biting quaver. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Harry Styles Lights It Up and Succession Gets the Remix it Deserves. These Are the 5 Songs You Need to Listen to This Weekend," 11 Oct. 2019 His tone and cadence take after the saccharine blather of the great Christian pitchmen of radio and TV, the hucksters who mastered the catch in the throat, the tremulous quaver and gulp, because as every pro knows that’s where the money is. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "Politics Books: The Fire This Time," 27 Sep. 2018 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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Time Traveler for quaver

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Quaver.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quaver. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce quaver (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on quaver

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quaver

Nglish: Translation of quaver for Spanish Speakers

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