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[shuhd-er] /ˈʃʌd ər/
verb (used without object)
to tremble with a sudden convulsive movement, as from horror, fear, or cold.
a convulsive movement of the body, as from horror, fear, or cold.
Origin of shudder
1275-1325; Middle English shodderen (v.) (cognate with German schaudern < LG), frequentative of Old English scūdan to tremble; see -er6
Can be confused
shudder, shutter.
1. quiver. See shiver1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for shudder
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Good thought with half a shudder that he would not care to have Furniss on his trail.

    Thirty Howard Vincent O'Brien
  • I used to like him when I was a child; now I shudder at his name.

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Do not shudder at the idea of changing your religion, for I insist on your professing none other but the Musulman.

    Byron Richard Edgcumbe
  • Do you not look on the past with a shudder at the precipice on which you stood?

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • The drop of blood on Gulnare's fair brow makes him shudder, and almost forget that it was to save him that she became guilty.

British Dictionary definitions for shudder


(intransitive) to shake or tremble suddenly and violently, as from horror, fear, aversion, etc
the act of shuddering; convulsive shiver
Derived Forms
shuddering, adjective
shudderingly, adverb
shuddery, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Middle Low German schōderen; related to Old Frisian skedda to shake, Old High German skutten to shake
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 shudder

early 14c., possibly from Middle Dutch schuderen "to shudder," or Middle Low German schoderen, both frequentative forms from Proto-Germanic *skuth- "to shake." Related: Shuddered; shuddering.


c.1600, from shudder (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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