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[trem-yuh-luh s] /ˈtrɛm yə ləs/
(of persons, the body, etc.) characterized by trembling, as from fear, nervousness, or weakness.
timid; timorous; fearful.
(of things) vibratory, shaking, or quivering.
(of writing) done with a trembling hand.
Origin of tremulous
1605-15; < Latin tremulus, equivalent to trem(ere) to tremble + -ulus adj. suffix
Related forms
tremulously, adverb
tremulousness, noun
untremulous, adjective
untremulously, adverb
untremulousness, noun
1. faltering, hesitant, wavering. 2. frightened; afraid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tremulous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He turned his head toward the little orchestra, which was playing a low and tremulous waltz tune.

    The Hillman E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • The bridge was tremulous beneath me, and marked the tremor of the solid earth.

    Other Tales and Sketches Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The girl gave a frightened cry, then a tremulous little sob of joy.

    Across the Years Eleanor H. Porter
  • "It was my father's sword," replied Theseus, with a tremulous voice.

    Tanglewood Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • As he said this, the hunter raised his curved horn to his lips and blew a long, tremulous blast.

    The Maroon Mayne Reid
  • He was looking down, and gnawing at that tremulous upper lip.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • She cuddled against the Harvester and lifting a tremulous white hand, drew it across his unshaven cheek.

    The Harvester Gene Stratton Porter
British Dictionary definitions for tremulous


vibrating slightly; quavering; trembling: a tremulous voice
showing or characterized by fear, anxiety, excitement, etc
Derived Forms
tremulously, adverb
tremulousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin tremulus quivering, from tremere 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 tremulous

1610s, from Latin tremulus "shaking, quivering," from tremere (see tremble).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tremulous in Medicine

tremulous trem·u·lous (trěm'yə-ləs)
Characterized by tremor.

trem'u·lous·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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