Word of the Day

Friday, April 18, 2003

trepidation

\trep-uh-DAY-shuhn\ , noun;
1.
[Archaic] An involuntary trembling; quaking; quivering.
2.
A state of dread or alarm; nervous agitation; apprehension; fright.
Quotes:
A sense of triumph was in the air as people bravely went to the polls, but a sense of trepidation, too. "It is the happiest day of my life," a woman told me near Dili's Santa Cruz cemetery. "But it is also my day of greatest fear."
-- Matthew Jardine, "Scenes From East Timor", The Progressive, November 1999
The ghost then disappeared, and as soon as Grosse could recover himself from the extreme trepidation, . . . he looked about him, and finding himself alone, he exclaimed, "Ghost or devil, I will soon prove whether or not thou liest!"
-- Ernest Rhys (editor), The Haunters & the Haunted
I had not been to any of the camps before and was filled with trepidation by this visit to the site of what Churchill called the greatest crime in history.
-- Leslie Epstein, "Pictures at an Extermination", Harper's Magazine, September 2000
Origin:
Trepidation is from Latin trepidatio, from the past participle of trepidare, "to hurry with alarm, to tremble," from trepidus, "agitated, restless, disturbed." It is related to intrepid, "bold" (from in-, "not" + trepidus).
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