December 07, 2018
quiver (verb)
\KWIV-er\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to move with a slight shaking motion
How do you use it?
People in the audience quivered with excitement as they waited for the artist's latest work to be unveiled.
Are you a word wiz?

Language scientists think that the verb "quiver" probably came from a Middle English word that was spelled the same way but had a different meaning. What do you think the Middle English word "quiver" meant?

Were you quick to pick B? The Middle English word "quiver" meant "agile, quick," and it is akin to an Old English word "cwiferlice," meaning "zealously." The verb "quiver" dates back to the 1400s, but the corresponding noun "quiver," meaning "an act of quivering, a tremor," didn't show up until the late 1700s. You may be familiar with another word "quiver" that refers to a case for carrying arrows. This "quiver" comes from Middle English too, but by way of Anglo-French from a language spoken by Germanic peoples. The word was known in English as far back as the 1300s, when a quiver was likely a more familiar item to most people than it is today.
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