Definition of trepidation
- trepidation about starting a new job
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
He had some trepidation about agreeing to their proposal.
shaking with trepidation, I stepped into the old abandoned house
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trepidation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
If you've ever trembled with fright, you know something of both the sensation and etymology of trepidation. The word comes from the Latin verb trepidare, which means "to tremble." When it first appeared in English in the early 1600s, it meant "tremulous motion" or "tremor." Around the same time, English speakers also started using the "nervous agitation" sense of trepidation that we use today.
First Known Use: 1605See Words from the same year
: a feeling of fear that causes you to hesitate because you think something bad or unpleasant is going to happen
What made you want to look up trepidation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!
Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!TAKE THE QUIZ
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.TAKE THE QUIZ