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quaver

[kwey-ver] /ˈkweɪ vər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to shake tremulously; quiver or tremble:
He stood there quavering with fear.
2.
to sound, speak, or sing tremulously:
Her voice quavered a moment and then she regained control.
3.
to perform trills in singing or on a musical instrument.
verb (used with object)
4.
to utter, say, or sing with a quavering or tremulous voice.
noun
5.
a quavering or tremulous shake, especially in the voice.
6.
a quavering tone or utterance.
7.
Music (chiefly British) an eighth note.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English quaveren (v.), blend of quake and waver1
Related forms
quaverer, noun
quaveringly, adverb
quavery, quaverous, adjective
unquavering, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for un quavering

quaver

/ˈkweɪvə/
verb
1.
to say or sing (something) with a trembling voice
2.
(intransitive) (esp of the voice) to quiver, tremble, or shake
3.
(intransitive) (rare) to sing or play quavers or ornamental trills
noun
4.
(music) a note having the time value of an eighth of a semibreve Usual US and Canadian name eighth note
5.
a tremulous sound or note
Derived Forms
quaverer, noun
quavering, adjective
quaveringly, adverb
quavery, adjective
Word Origin
C15 (in the sense: to vibrate, quiver1): from quaven to tremble, of Germanic origin; compare Low German quabbeln to tremble
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for un quavering

quaver

v.

"to vibrate, tremble," early 15c., probably a frequentative of cwavien "to tremble, shake" (early 13c.), which probably is related to Low German quabbeln "tremble," and possibly of imitative origin. Meaning "sing in trills or quavers" first recorded 1530s. Related: Quavered; quavering.

n.

1560s, in music, "eighth note," from quaver (v.). Meaning "a tremble in the voice" is from 1748.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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