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[trem-er, tree-mer] /ˈtrɛm ər, ˈtri mər/
involuntary shaking of the body or limbs, as from disease, fear, weakness, or excitement; a fit of trembling.
any tremulous or vibratory movement; vibration:
tremors following an earthquake.
a trembling or quivering effect, as of light.
a quavering sound, as of the voice.
1325-75; Middle English < Latin: a trembling, equivalent to trem(ere) to tremble + -or -or1
Related forms
tremorous, adjective
1. shudder, shiver, quiver. 3. oscillation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tremors
  • And if traditional academe fears these tremors, perhaps that is also a good development.
  • Until now, spiders were thought to be the only animals to detect tremors in their webs caused by foreign objects.
  • With each new incident of record monsoon floods, fires and earthquakes, more tremors shake the global economy.
  • Other eyewitnesses described tremors that damaged homes and powerful, hot winds that literally knocked people out of their chairs.
  • Then she fainted at a school dance, after which her body became wracked with tremors.
  • One is withdrawal, which would bring on the tremors and also sweating.
  • He had lived with the hand tremors and the muscle contractions, but this, this was too much.
  • Long-term exposure has been linked to anemia, tremors and damage to the neurological system.
  • Seismographs flicker back and forth measuring tremors deep inside the mountain.
  • The chemical can make meat leaner, but can also be the cause of heart palpitations, diarrhoea and muscle tremors.
British Dictionary definitions for tremors


an involuntary shudder or vibration, as from illness, fear, shock, etc
any trembling or quivering movement
a vibrating or trembling effect, as of sound or light
Also called earth tremor. a minor earthquake
(intransitive) to tremble
Derived Forms
tremorless, adjective
tremorous, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin: a shaking, from tremere to tremble, quake
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 tremors



late 14c., "terror," from Old French tremor "fear, terror" (13c.), from Latin tremorem (nominative tremor) "a trembling, terror," from tremere (see tremble). Sense of "an involuntary shaking" first recorded 1610s and probably represents a re-introduction from Latin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tremors in Medicine

tremor trem·or (trěm'ər)

  1. An involuntary trembling movement.

  2. Minute ocular movement occurring during fixation on an object.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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tremors in Science
  1. A relatively minor seismic shaking or vibrating movement. Tremors often precede larger earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

  2. An involuntary shaking or trembling of the head or extremities that can be idiopathic or associated with any of various medical conditions, such as Parkinson's disease.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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