English Dictionary

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English Dictionary

quaver  (ˈkweɪvə



  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


  1. (music) a note having the time value of an eighth of a semibreve Usual US and Canadian name: eighth note
  2. a tremulous sound or note

Derived Forms

ˈquaverer  noun
ˈquavering  adjective
ˈquaveringly  adverb
ˈquavery  adjective

Word Origin

C15 (in the sense: to vibrate, quiver1): from quaven to tremble, of Germanic origin; compare Low German quabbeln to tremble

Translations for 'quaver'

  • British English: quaver If someone's voice quavers, it sounds unsteady, usually because they are nervous or uncertain. VERBHer voice quavered and she fell silent.
  • Brazilian Portuguese: tremer
  • Chinese: 发颤发發颤顫
  • European Spanish: temblar
  • French: trembler
  • German: zittern
  • Italian: tremolare
  • Japanese: 震える
  • Korean: >떨리다무서움에
  • Portuguese: tremer
  • Spanish: temblar

Example Sentences Including 'quaver'

He felt her breath quaver : then her hand slowly turned the key.
Davis, John Gordon Seize the Reckless Wind
But their father, after looking round with haunted eyes, said in a shattered quaver of voice, `There he is.
Harvey, John Coup d'Etat
The quaver in her voice confirmed it: she was scared all right.
Pritchard, John Night Sisters


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