Meaning of shudder in English:


Pronunciation /ˈʃʌdə/

See synonyms for shudder

Translate shudder into Spanish


[no object]
  • 1(of a person) tremble convulsively, typically as a result of fear or revulsion.

    ‘I shuddered with horror’
    • ‘she still shuddered at the thought of him’
    • ‘I've made some mistake that I still shudder to think about.’
    • ‘I do shudder to think of how the teams such as the one described in this article would have reacted to such pressure.’
    • ‘In terms of our community and what we do and what it takes to get people in and off property, and I would shudder to think what it would take to do that in the middle of the night.’
    • ‘His name was virtually unknown to the rest of society, but the horror stories that had been created by him made even grown men shudder to think about.’
    • ‘You may be wondering why anyone in their right mind would stay on talk to their friend until two in the morning, and you might shudder to think how long the phone bill will be next month.’
    • ‘I'd shudder to think what the daily uniform would look like if they had one.’
    • ‘Each time he would shudder with fear and with sickness from the drugs, and he would swear to change.’
    • ‘His people shuddered when they came near him, for they feared his anger.’
    • ‘Doug stuck his tongue in her ear and Diana shuddered in revulsion.’
    • ‘People shudder at the thought of them and turn away.’
    • ‘Most people shudder at the thought of positive eugenics.’
    • ‘It's not like an experience where people shudder or run away from the camera when they see you.’
    • ‘You may shudder to learn that the government has revised its hurricane forecast for the season that began June 1 for the worst.’
    • ‘Second, the oh-so-vile taste of the beer - I still shudder at the memory from last night.’
    • ‘I too shudder when I hear the writer of the ‘Lost in Space’ film is working on the sequels.’
    • ‘I still shudder at the cost but I must admit it's worth a few months of strict economy to have a good roof over-head.’
    • ‘Many women who were once prostitutes shudder when they look back on their experience.’
    • ‘Margaret shuddered at that thought, she didn't want to fight.’
    • ‘Sarah shuddered at her touch, feeling a little uncomfortable.’
    • ‘A few of the more starved prisoners shuddered with the sudden change in temperature for a while before growing accustomed to it.’
    shake, shiver, tremble, quiver, quaver, vibrate, palpitate, flutter, quake, heave, convulse
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    1. 1.1(especially of a vehicle, machine, or building) shake or vibrate violently.
      ‘the train shuddered and edged forward’
      • ‘the building cracked and shuddered’
      • ‘Trinity's office tower shuddered and dust began to penetrate the building down elevator shafts from the top.’
      • ‘A cannon ball struck the wall of the fortress and the building shuddered underneath us.’
      • ‘The engine kicked over and the van shuddered as it pulled forward and out to the street.’
      • ‘Then suddenly there was a loud, disconcerting sound, and the building shuddered slightly.’
      • ‘As he was about to reach my friend, the freight train roared and the house shuddered and howled, but the old man never knew it.’
      • ‘Every time the driver changed gears, the bus shuddered, stalled and rolled backwards.’
      • ‘The explosions began around 2: 30 am and came in rapid succession, seconds apart, making buildings shudder.’
      • ‘She pressed down on a button and the ship shuddered as the main engine sprung to life.’
      • ‘A rogue wave breaks over the coach-house roof, and the boat shudders in protest.’
      • ‘The carriage shuddered and began to roll forward, clattering over the cobblestones.’
      • ‘The airship pitched suddenly diving forward and then back as the aircraft shuddered in a sick whine.’
      • ‘Nearing 4,000m, my ears pop again, before the car shudders to a stop, and another fleece-covered assistant lets us out.’
      • ‘The car eventually shuddered to a halt on its roof.’
      • ‘Suddenly, there was a loud blast and the house shuddered momentarily.’
      • ‘Next afternoon a squall out of the southeast is kicking up and our tent shudders against the strong gusts.’
      • ‘The entire ship shudders from the massive shock and the power blinks off for a minute then flickers back on.’
      • ‘The aircraft shuddering and its reduced controllability severely compounded the difficulty of the instrument flight.’
      • ‘I also noticed some body flex due to loss of structural rigidity with the whole car shuddering over potholes in the roads.’
      • ‘The aircraft shuddered to a stop and began a rapid rollback.’
      • ‘The elevator shuddered to a stop as all the lights went out.’


  • An act of shuddering.

    ‘the elevator rose with a shudder’
    • ‘the pound's devaluation sent shudders through the market’
    • ‘At one point, a technician lifted his wounded leg to clean it, and the weakened tibia fractured with a sharp crack that sent shudders through the surgical staff.’
    • ‘She hurriedly climbed out, her body racked with shudders.’
    • ‘But I think that first-degree murder verdict should send a shudder through the defendant.’
    • ‘A tremor rose up inside me, somewhat like a shudder or shiver, but I wasn't cold or afraid.’
    • ‘As he approached the spot he said he heard ‘a sort of a shudder and bump’.’
    • ‘So, I gave a little shudder, and turned back to my tasks in hand, including a little watercolour painting.’
    • ‘The shudder in Tsushiko's body movements told Chase of the prisoner's rising anxiety.’
    • ‘His shudders slowed and his body gradually untensed.’
    • ‘Not from cold, not from pain, just from the nearness of him that sent shudders lightly through her body.’
    • ‘An involuntary shudder snaked through my body.’
    • ‘Leaning close to whisper in his ear I felt his body shudder.’
    • ‘A shudder went through her body, and she broke contact with him.’
    • ‘When I was done, my body gave a shudder and slowly began to sink.’
    • ‘A shudder passed through her body and all the colour drained from her face.’
    • ‘If Darwin could have seen the molecular complexity of the eye, his shudder might well have turned even colder.’
    • ‘The word sends a shudder through the body of any veteran of the Second World War.’
    • ‘When the lever is pulled, the body twists and shudders violently, cooks and sizzles obscenely, and emits horrible noises from the nose, mouth and anus.’
    • ‘Causing a shift in policy that's not based on real policy concerns but on public distastes and shudders should not be the aim of good journalism.’
    shake, shiver, tremor, tremble, trembling, quiver, quivering, quaver, start, vibration, palpitation, flutter, convulsion, spasm, twitch, jerk
    View synonyms


    I shudder to think
    • Used to convey that something is too unpleasant to contemplate.

      ‘I shudder to think what might have happened if he hadn't woken you up’
      • ‘What would have happened had I not locked the doors I shudder to think.’
      • ‘What he meant by adaptation, I shudder to think.’
      • ‘Where her sport would be without her I shudder to think.’
      • ‘Left to my own devices, I shudder to think what the results would have been.’
      • ‘For my part, I shuddered to think of what Wickham would consider an accomplishment.’
      • ‘Without her, I shudder to think what kind of mess I would have made of the evening.’
      • ‘I shudder to think how much the weapons must now weigh.’
      • ‘I shudder to think what nations around the world would think of such an analogy.’
      • ‘I shudder to think of having any more anxiety attacks.’
      • ‘I shudder to think what some of you must think about me.’
    give someone the shudders
    • Cause someone to feel repugnance or fear.

      • ‘this place gives me the shudders’
      • ‘it gives me the shudders to hear you use words like that’
      • ‘Twenty years later that image still gives me the shudders.’
      • ‘Even the name gave Amy the shudders as she sat hunched up at the back of the cab, her suitcase in hand staring out at the scenery as it sailed by.’
      • ‘I had heard her say things to people that gave me the shudders: ‘This is the worst book I've read in a year,’ or things like that.’
      • ‘It gave him the shudders thinking about people changing like that.’


Middle English (as a verb): from Middle Dutch schūderen, from a Germanic base meaning ‘shake’.