shiver

1 of 4

noun (1)

shiv·​er ˈshi-vər How to pronounce shiver (audio)
: one of the small pieces into which a brittle thing is broken by sudden violence

shiver

2 of 4

verb (1)

shivered; shivering ˈshi-və-riŋ How to pronounce shiver (audio)
ˈshiv-riŋ

transitive + intransitive

: to break into many small pieces : shatter

shiver

3 of 4

verb (2)

shivered; shivering ˈshi-və-riŋ How to pronounce shiver (audio)
ˈshiv-riŋ

intransitive verb

1
: to undergo trembling : quiver
2
: to tremble in the wind as it strikes first one and then the other side (of a sail)

transitive verb

: to cause (a sail) to shiver by steering close to the wind

shiver

4 of 4

noun (2)

1
: an instance of shivering : tremble
2
: an intense shivery sensation especially of fear
often used in plural with the
horror movies give him the shivers
3
: a hard blow (as with a forearm) especially to the head or neck

Examples of shiver in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Mitchell put his hands in his pockets and shivered. Robert Sullivan, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2024 According to the Humane Society of the United States, some signs that an animal may need help include shivering, an obvious injury like a broken limb, or if it has been seen crying or wandering. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 13 Mar. 2024 Jihan and her husband stood shivering under floodlights, and were informed that the name of their new home was Al-Hol. Anand Gopal, The New Yorker, 11 Mar. 2024 Residents shivered in Kansas City, Missouri, where windchill temperatures near zero followed highs in the low 70s on Tuesday. Kathryn Prociv, NBC News, 28 Feb. 2024 For many months, long-period quakes had shivered within the peninsula’s deep crust. Robin George Andrews, Quanta Magazine, 20 Feb. 2024 Women in gowns with bare shoulders shivered in soaking their dresses. Nekesa Mumbi Moody, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Feb. 2024 The idea of building a pipeline to bring in gas from neighboring Croatia has been around for nearly 15 years, ever since Russia cut off gas deliveries through Ukraine to the Balkans in 2009 and left Sarajevo shivering for days in subzero temperatures. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, 22 Feb. 2024 Standing in the cold outside her friend’s apartment with her two shivering little dogs, Casper called the tow yard again. Ariane Lange, Sacramento Bee, 2 Feb. 2024
Noun
Next weekend's weather forecast has the makings of another arctic blast hitting much of the country, though not as powerfully as the one still causing shivers to most Americans. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2024 Giant scarabs have been getting under man's skin both literally and figuratively since antiquity in The Mummy, and if cutting a large beetle out from one's bicep isn't icky enough, the swarm of locusts will send shivers down any spine. Sarah Sprague, EW.com, 19 Oct. 2023 If the thought of adding daily SPF to your skin care routine sends shivers down your spine, the best sunscreens for sensitive skin can help. Brigitt Earley, Glamour, 21 Feb. 2024 Stephen King has crafted some of the most chilling tales of the past 50 years, but nothing quite sends shivers down the spine like a recent revelation made by the Master of Horror. Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 6 Sep. 2023 Over the next 60 seconds, Tomboy Mani acts out a handful of symptoms, including feeling angry over small things, anxiety shivers, having a hard time with rejection, making random noises unconsciously, being very competitive and hyper-focusing on interests. Mirel Zaman, refinery29.com, 19 Oct. 2023 Memories of those rats still send shivers up my spine. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 27 Dec. 2023 Head to Hulu and stream a season (or several) of the always-creepy American Horror Story for hours of spine shivers. Diana Pearl, Peoplemag, 23 Oct. 2023 Friday’s high temperature was 52 degrees, a slightly chilly reading — but not the sort to send shivers down spines. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 2 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shiver.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English; akin to Old High German scivaro splinter

Verb (2)

Middle English, alteration of chiveren

First Known Use

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

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

Noun (2)

1727, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of shiver was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near shiver

Cite this Entry

“Shiver.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shiver. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

shiver

1 of 4 noun
shiv·​er ˈshiv-ər How to pronounce shiver (audio)
: one of the small pieces into which a brittle thing is broken by great force

shiver

2 of 4 verb
shivered; shivering ˈshiv-(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce shiver (audio)
: to break into many small pieces : shatter

shiver

3 of 4 verb
shivered; shivering
ˈshiv-(ə-)riŋ
: to shake involuntarily (as from cold or fear)

shiver

4 of 4 noun
1
: an instance of shivering
2
: a thrill of emotion and especially of fear
usually used in plural with the
a ghost story that would give you the shivers
Etymology

Noun

Middle English shiver "a small piece of something that is broken"

Verb

Middle English shiveren, an altered form of chiveren "to tremble, shiver"

Medical Definition

shiver

1 of 2 intransitive verb
shiv·​er ˈshiv-ər How to pronounce shiver (audio)
: to undergo trembling : experience rapid involuntary muscular twitching especially in response to cold

shiver

2 of 2 noun
: an instance of shivering

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