What does tremble mean?

Definitions for tremble
ˈtrɛm bəltrem·ble

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word tremble.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. tremble, shiver, shakeverb

    a reflex motion caused by cold or fear or excitement

  2. trembleverb

    move or jerk quickly and involuntarily up and down or sideways

    "His hands were trembling when he signed the document"


  1. tremblenoun

    A shake, quiver, or vibration.

  2. trembleverb

    To shake, quiver, or vibrate.

  3. Etymology: From trambler and its variants, from tremulare, a derivate of Classical tremere, present active infinitive of tremo.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Trembleverb

    Etymology: trembler, Fr. tremo, Lat.

    My compassionate heart
    Will not permit my eyes once to behold
    The thing, whereat it trembles by surmise. William Shakespeare.

    God’s name
    And power thou tremblest at. William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

    Shew your slaves how cholerick you are,
    And make your bondmen tremble. William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar.

    This judgment of the heavens that makes us tremble,
    Touches us not with pity. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    They shall fear and tremble. Jer. xxxiii. 9.

    When he heard the king, he fell into such a trembling that he could hardly speak. Edward Hyde.

    Frighted Turnus trembl’d as he spoke. John Dryden, Æn.

    He shook the sacred honours of his head,
    With terror trembl’d heav’n’s subsiding hill,
    And from his shaken curls ambrosial dews distil. Dryden.

    Ye powers, revenge your violated altars,
    That they who with unhallow’d hands approach
    May tremble. Nicholas Rowe.

    Sinai’s grey top shall tremble. John Milton.

    We cannot imagine a mass of water to have stood upon the middle of the earth like one great drop, or a trembling jelly, and all the places about it dry. Burnet.

    Winds make a noise unequally, and sometimes when vehement tremble at the height of their blast. Francis Bacon.


  1. tremble

    Tremble refers to the involuntary shaking or quivering of a part of the body as a reaction to fear, anxiety, excitement, weakness, or cold. It can also refer to a similar vibration or shudder, such as the trembling of the ground during an earthquake.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Trembleverb

    to shake involuntarily, as with fear, cold, or weakness; to quake; to quiver; to shiver; to shudder; -- said of a person or an animal

  2. Trembleverb

    to totter; to shake; -- said of a thing

  3. Trembleverb

    to quaver or shake, as sound; to be tremulous; as the voice trembles

  4. Tremblenoun

    an involuntary shaking or quivering

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tremble

    trem′bl, v.i. to shake, as from fear, cold, or weakness: to shiver: to shake, as sound.—n. the act of trembling: a morbid trembling.—ns. Trem′blement; Trem′bler; Trem′bling.—adv. Trem′blingly.—n. Trem′bling-pop′lar, the aspen.—adj. Trem′bly, tremulous.—adv. tremulously.—adjs. Trem′ūlant, Trem′ūlous, trembling: affected with fear: quivering.—adv. Trem′ūlously.—n. Trem′ūlousness. [O. Fr. trembler—L. tremulus, trembling—tremĕre, to shake.]

Editors Contribution

  1. tremble

    shake unknowingly because of fear or anxiety.

    He was trembling when I got back home. He probably saw a horror movie.

    Submitted by anonymous on March 6, 2019  

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Tremble is ranked #21157 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Tremble surname appeared 1,241 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Tremble.

    48.5% or 602 total occurrences were White.
    45.8% or 569 total occurrences were Black.
    3.5% or 44 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.5% or 19 total occurrences were of two or more races.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'tremble' in Verbs Frequency: #852

How to pronounce tremble?

How to say tremble in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tremble in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tremble in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of tremble in a Sentence

  1. Kahlil Gibran:

    We were a silent, hidden thought in the folds of oblivion, and we have become a voice that causes the heavens to tremble.

  2. Unknown, Often attributed to Abraham Lincoln:

    I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.

  3. Vladimir Lenin:

    You need to hang … at least 100 notorious kulaks, the rich, and the bloodsuckers … This needs to be accomplished in such a way that people for hundreds of miles around will see, tremble, know and scream out : let's choke and strangle those blood-sucking kulaks.

  4. Erik Pevernagie:

    The upper lip must never tremble. Some fear to be abused and have their identity destroyed, if they make an aperture in the curtain of their emotions. (“The upper lip must never tremble”)

  5. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

    Oh God, how do the world and heavens confine themselves, when our hearts tremble in their own barriers!

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for tremble

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"tremble." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 8 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tremble>.

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    showing intellectual penetration or emotional depth
    • A. cosmopolitan
    • B. noninvasive
    • C. opaque
    • D. profound

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