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shiver1

[shiv-er] /ˈʃɪv ər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to shake or tremble with cold, fear, excitement, etc.
2.
Nautical.
  1. (of a fore-and-aft sail) to shake when too close to the wind.
  2. (of a sailing vessel) to be headed so close to the wind that the sails shake.
noun
3.
a tremulous motion; a tremble or quiver:
The thought sent a shiver down her spine.
4.
shivers, an attack of shivering or chills (usually preceded by the).
Origin
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English chivere (noun); later sh-, apparently for the sake of alliteration in phrase chiver and shake
Related forms
shiverer, noun
shiveringly, adverb
Synonyms
1. Shiver, quake, shudder refer to a vibratory muscular movement, a trembling, usually involuntary. We shiver with cold, or a sensation such as that of cold: to shiver in thin clothing on a frosty day; to shiver with pleasant anticipation. We quake especially with fear: to quake with fright. We shudder with horror or abhorrence; the agitation is more powerful and deep-seated than shivering or trembling: to shudder at pictures of a concentration camp.

shiver2

[shiv-er] /ˈʃɪv ər/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
1.
to break or split into fragments.
noun
2.
a fragment; splinter.
Origin
1150-1200; (noun) Middle English schivere fragment; cognate with German Schiefer schist; (v.) Middle English schiveren, derivative of the noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for shiver
  • They shiver and tremble and act out to the awful imperatives of mental illness.
  • Rodents, unable to shiver effectively to keep warm, use brown fat instead.
  • Your narrative of your last experience there makes me shiver in fright.
  • As their core body temperature falls, people start to shiver and their risks of infection and hemorrhage increase.
  • The sight that met his gaze caused a cold shiver to run up and down his spinal column.
  • The logistics of hauling those toxins either through the air or across a battlefield made generals shiver.
  • Her ice-blue eyes trained on a single leaf, she was alert for the faint shiver.
  • Even a glimpse of those three paintings from a distance is to feel a decisive shiver of excitement.
  • When it's my boss calling, it shudders in a sort of growing shiver from its headphone port down to its excretory chamber.
  • It would make a pretty pretentious band name, but gives me a little shiver of delight to read.
British Dictionary definitions for shiver

shiver1

/ˈʃɪvə/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to shake or tremble, as from cold or fear
2.
  1. (of a sail) to luff; flap or shake
  2. (of a sailing vessel) to sail close enough to the wind to make the sails luff
noun
3.
the act of shivering; a tremulous motion
4.
the shivers, an attack of shivering, esp through fear or illness
Derived Forms
shiverer, noun
shivering, adjective
Word Origin
C13 chiveren, perhaps variant of chevelen to chatter (used of teeth), from Old English ceafljowl1

shiver2

/ˈʃɪvə/
verb
1.
to break or cause to break into fragments
noun
2.
a splintered piece
Word Origin
C13: of Germanic origin; compare Old High German scivaro, Middle Dutch scheveren to shiver, Old Norse skīfa to split
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shiver
v.

"shake," c.1400, alteration of chiveren (c.1200), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old English ceafl "jaw," on notion of chattering teeth. Spelling change of ch- to sh- is probably from influence of shake. Related: Shivered; shivering.

"to break in or into many small pieces," c.1200, from the source of shiver (n.). Chiefly in phrase shiver me timbers (1835), "a mock oath attributed in comic fiction to sailors" [OED]. My timbers! as a nautical oath (probably euphemistic) is attested from 1789 (see timber (n.)). Related: Shivered; shivering.

n.

"small piece, splinter, fragment, chip," c.1200, perhaps from an unrecorded Old English word, related to Middle Low German schever schiver "splinter," Old High German scivero, from Proto-Germanic *skif- "split" (cf. Old High German skivaro "splinter," German Schiefer "splinter, slate"), from PIE *skei- "to cut, split" (see shed (v.)). Commonly in phrases to break to shivers "break into bits" (mid-15c.). Also, shiver is still dialectal for "a splinter" in Norfolk and Lincolnshire.

"a tremulous, quivering motion," 1727, from shiver (v.1). The shivers in reference to fever chills is from 1861.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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