tremulous

adjective

trem·​u·​lous ˈtrem-yə-ləs How to pronounce tremulous (audio)
1
: characterized by or affected with trembling or tremors
2
: affected with timidity : timorous
3
: such as is or might be caused by nervousness or shakiness
a tremulous smile
4
: exceedingly sensitive : easily shaken or disordered
tremulously adverb
tremulousness noun

Did you know?

Are you shaky on the meaning of tremulous?

Do you suspect that tremulous must be closely related to tremble? If so, you're right. Both of those words derive from the Latin verb tremere, which means "to tremble." Some other English offspring of tremere are tremor, tremendous, temblor (another word for earthquake), and tremolo (a term that describes a vibrating and quavering musical effect that was particularly popular for electric guitars and organs in the 1970s).

Examples of tremulous in a Sentence

She opened the letter with tremulous hands. He spoke with a tremulous voice.
Recent Examples on the Web The wife is not much of a role, and Thurman can’t give her anything more than a sustained note of tremulous concern, aside from the occasional moment of anger or impatience when Emma feels her husband is being pushed beyond the limits of his fragile health. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 May 2024 While Brnovich’s approach netted almost no one, Mayes has brought the most politically tremulous case to Arizona perhaps since the AzScam bribery cases more than 30 years ago. Ronald J. Hansen, The Arizona Republic, 25 Apr. 2024 Naipaul’s novel takes in Mohun Biswas’s life episode by episode, telling it from inside his protagonist’s comprehension, as a story of tremulous ambition and anxiety. James Wood, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2024 Sugar is the group’s chanteuse; Monroe is the film’s tremulous heart and soul. The New York Times Brooks Barnes, New York Times, 7 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for tremulous 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tremulous.' 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

Latin tremulus — more at tremble

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tremulous was in 1611

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Dictionary Entries Near tremulous

Cite this Entry

“Tremulous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tremulous. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

tremulous

adjective
trem·​u·​lous ˈtrem-yə-ləs How to pronounce tremulous (audio)
1
: marked by or affected with trembling or tremors
tremulous hands
2
: fearful sense 2, timid
a shy tremulous person
3
: caused by or displaying nervousness or shakiness
a tremulous smile

Medical Definition

tremulous

adjective
trem·​u·​lous ˈtrem-yə-ləs How to pronounce tremulous (audio)
: characterized by or affected with trembling or tremors
tremulousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on tremulous

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