From Latin tremulus, from tremō (I shake). Cognate to Ancient Greek τρέμω (trémō).


  • IPA(key): /ˈtɹɛmjuləs/
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tremulous (comparative more tremulous, superlative most tremulous)

  1. Trembling, quivering, or shaking.
    • 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne, chapter 3, in The Scarlet Letter:
      The trying nature of his position drove the blood from his cheek, and made his lips tremulous.
    • 1919, William MacLeod Raine, chapter 27, in A Man Four-Square:
      "Thank God!" he cried brokenly, all the pent emotion of the long night vibrant in his tremulous voice.
    • 1956, Delano Ames, chapter 12, in Crime out of Mind[1]:
      Light filtered in through the blinds of the french windows. It made tremulous stripes along the scrubbed pine floor.
  2. Timid, hesitant; lacking confidence.
    • 1891, Grant Allen, chapter 15, in The Great Taboo:
      "You have lived here long?" Felix asked, with tremulous interest, as he took a seat.
    • 2009 Oct. 7, Christopher Kimball, "Opinion: Gourmet to All That," New York Times (retrieved 18 Aug 2012):
      This, hard on the heels of the death of Julia Child in 2004, makes one tremulous about the future.


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