Definition of trepidation in English:



  • 1A feeling of fear or anxiety about something that may happen.

    ‘the men set off in fear and trepidation’
    • ‘It still produced that certain amount of trepidation and fear in the pit of her stomach.’
    • ‘For from some deep reaches of my soul, an icy cold fear and trepidation had exploded upward.’
    • ‘I arrived at my first board meeting, with a great deal of trepidation, and was very impressed.’
    • ‘Selling a property in this country can be a fraught business, full of fear and trepidation and attended by frustration and delay at every point.’
    • ‘I have been told on more than one occasion that arrival of the video on the doormat has been met with fear, trepidation, emotion, even panic.’
    • ‘Thanks for your kind words about the articles, but why did you feel fear and trepidation?’
    • ‘Having come from such an ignominious background there was a certain amount of trepidation but fear not for I discovered the magic of the wok!’
    • ‘Of course, most people respond to a note like that with fear and trepidation and then anger.’
    • ‘If they do go alone, they will be sent amid trepidation and trembling.’
    • ‘This he did, in fear and trepidation, taking with him two other church workers who were accompanying him.’
    • ‘That it is not a place where we have any trepidation or fear.’
    • ‘Twice the fish is close, the tuna boat far behind, bemused fishermen watching our manoeuvres with some trepidation.’
    • ‘His body was trembling in trepidation as he recognized the dulcet voice of a young maid named Élise.’
    • ‘Japanese eat fugu without much fear or trepidation because of the confidence they have in licensed chefs.’
    • ‘Yet there is a hint of trepidation as he voices his fears that his team might struggle to get out of their squandering habits.’
    • ‘Police patrols at the bridges have been stepped up but the detailed nature of the warning is bound to add trepidation to an already nervous situation.’
    • ‘Having gone into the clinic with some trepidation, I walk out of it feeling like a man who has drunk deep from the fountain of life.’
    • ‘Most arrive with fear and trepidation and have to cultivate the ability to cope.’
    • ‘If the body movements are shaky with trepidation, physical aging has affected the person.’
    • ‘As the calendar flips to the new millennium, I feel both joy and a sense of trepidation.’
    fear, apprehension, dread, fearfulness, apprehensiveness, agitation, anxiety, worry, nervousness, tension, misgivings, unease, uneasiness, foreboding, disquiet, disquietude, perturbation, discomposure, dismay, consternation, alarm, panic, trembling, jumpiness
    butterflies, jitteriness, the jitters, a cold sweat, a blue funk, the heebie-jeebies, the willies, the shakes, the yips, the jim-jams, collywobbles, cold feet
    the, the screaming abdabs, the screaming habdabs
    joe blakes
    View synonyms
  • 2archaic Trembling movements or motion.


Late 15th century: from Latin trepidatio(n-), from trepidare be agitated, tremble, from trepidus alarmed.