Main definitions of shiver in English

: shiver1shiver2

shiver1

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Shake slightly and uncontrollably as a result of being cold, frightened, or excited.

    ‘they shivered in the damp foggy cold’
    • ‘I shivered in the cold air, my feet numb from the wet grass.’
    • ‘He could see something moving there, shaking, and shivering in fear.’
    • ‘My attention next goes to my back as I shiver in the cold air.’
    • ‘The girl shivered again under the thin blanket.’
    • ‘The Seer crouched on her bed of moldy straw, shivering slightly from the cold.’
    • ‘She shivered with fear and hugged her legs to her chest as she cried silently.’
    • ‘Aiden ignored her and blew into her ear; her response was to involuntarily shiver uncontrollably.’
    • ‘She shivered from the bitter cold, and knew what trouble she was in.’
    • ‘I shivered in disgust, stomping past them into the hallway.’
    • ‘I am burning up and shivering uncontrollably, hot cold sweat draining from my flesh.’
    • ‘Bruises decorated her face and shoulders, her body involuntarily shivering in reaction from the rain.’
    • ‘I began to feel my strength and stamina ebbing and shivered uncontrollably from the cold whenever we took a break for water.’
    • ‘The girl shivered in the rain as she took a step back.’
    • ‘Matt swore angrily under his breath, slightly shivering from the sudden cold and wetness.’
    • ‘She had already piled all the cloaks onto him and he was still shivering violently.’
    • ‘She sees the three girls shiver in fear.’
    • ‘I was just starting to wrestle out of my oversized shirt, shivering slightly in the cold bathroom, when a heard a faint knocking on the main door.’
    • ‘I shivered in the morning air as the sweat cooled my arms and legs.’
    • ‘My legs were shaking, and my body was shivering violently.’
    • ‘I shivered slightly in the cold but couldn't help grinning to myself.’
    • ‘I felt the air around me drop a few degrees and shivered a bit.’
    tremble, quiver, shake, shudder, quaver, quake, vibrate, palpitate, flutter, convulse
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1A momentary trembling movement.

    ‘she gave a little shiver as the wind flicked at her bare arms’
    ‘the way he looked at her sent shivers down her spine’
    • ‘Even without knowing any of the facts this sent a cold shiver down my spine.’
    • ‘A deep shiver coursed its way down his spine and into his feet.’
    • ‘There is a particular passage in Myth that sends shivers down my spine.’
    • ‘A shiver of excitement ran through him, mixed with with fear.’
    • ‘The voice sent shivers down Cate's spine, and she knew who it was without turning around.’
    • ‘She sings with a power and commitment that sends shivers down your spine.’
    • ‘He slid his hand down her back, sending shivers through her body.’
    • ‘Here are other titles that should give warm-weather readers a shiver of excitement.’
    • ‘A shiver racked his body, making his step ever so slightly falter.’
    • ‘I tried to smile, suppressing the shiver that was running down my spine.’
    • ‘Small shivers of delight crept up his arm and into his chest.’
    • ‘The word Conservative still sends shivers down the spine of voters.’
    • ‘So it is with a shiver of anticipation that I note the return of my favourite dilemma.’
    • ‘As my gaze lands on them, I feel several small shivers running down my spine.’
    • ‘A shiver of pleasure went down her spine as she turned to look at him.’
    • ‘Then he sees the drawing of the donkey and experiences a shiver of dread.’
    • ‘Shivers of pure delight ran through my body but I inwardly scolded myself.’
    • ‘I suppressed a shiver of disgust and fought down the feelings of triumph writhing in my stomach.’
    • ‘She felt an involuntary shiver go through her.’
    • ‘As he reached with his hand, Caroline experienced a shiver of anticipation.’
    tremble, trembling, quiver, quivering, shake, start, shudder, shuddering, quaver, quake, vibration, tremor, palpitation, flutter, convulsion, twitch, jerk
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the shivers A spell or an attack of trembling, typically as a result of fear or horror.
      ‘a look that gave him the shivers’
      • ‘Anyway, I'm ill at the moment - woke up at 2.30 am yesterday morning with a very scary attack of the shivers.’
      • ‘By the time she'd fully rinsed the lather off of her body, the shivers had become completely uncontrollable.’
      • ‘Although it might give you the shivers, it won't cause a cold.’
      • ‘Cold breezes raided the air giving some soldiers the shivers.’
      • ‘It was rather frightening, but she overcame the shivers that took to her and broke the silence.’
      • ‘He was cold, thin and tall, wiry and cold, and his austere black eyes gave one the shivers the minute they met his eyes.’
      • ‘This disability gives a lot of people the shivers, and most of them think me unable to play golf.’

Origin

Middle English chivere, perhaps an alteration of dialect chavele ‘to chatter’, from Old English ceafl ‘jaw’.

Pronunciation

shiver

/ˈʃɪvə/

Main definitions of shiver in English

: shiver1shiver2

shiver2

noun

usually shivers
  • Each of the small fragments into which something such as glass is shattered when broken; a splinter.

    • ‘I like to look at the way that small shivers and fragments of light, escape through a teeny gap in the curtains, throwing quirky shapes upon the wall or ceiling.’
    • ‘Keep away from windows because the high winds and pressure can shatter the window, sending shivers of glass everywhere.’
    • ‘He picked the larger shivers of glass out of the cut but that just made it bleed more.’
    • ‘The boy supped and brandished the weapons and in the process broke them all to shivers and splinters.’
    splinter, sliver, fragment, chip, shard, paring, shaving, shred, smithereen, particle, bit, piece
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verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Break into such splinters or fragments.

    ‘the world seemed to shiver into a million splinters of prismatic colour’
    • ‘Yet the crystals of my summer didn't shiver into fragments.’
    • ‘Something tinkles inside you, shivering, quivering, and then it breaks, shattering like a crystal constellation.’
    • ‘The blade fell upon the Indian's neck and shivered into several pieces.’
    • ‘The gilt-framed mirror, which hung between the front windows, fell to the floor in the midst of them, and shivered into a dozen pieces.’
    • ‘Hurrying in he found a plaster bust of Napoleon, which stood with several other works of art upon the counter, lying shivered into fragments.’
    smash, smash to smithereens, break, break into pieces, burst, blow out
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Phrases

  • shiver my timbers

    • A mock oath attributed to sailors.

      • ‘Well, ‘shiver me timbers’ as he loves to say.’
      • ‘A house, is it? Well shiver me timbers. I always wondered what one looked like on the inside.’
      • ‘Truly this is worse than the ‘Hey, you can shiver my timbers!’’
      • ‘Well shiver me timbers and blow me down!’

Origin

Middle English: from a Germanic base meaning ‘to split’; related to German Schiefer ‘slate’.

Pronunciation

shiver

/ˈʃɪvə/