from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To quiver, as from weakness; tremble.
- intransitive v. To speak in a quivering voice; utter a quivering sound.
- intransitive v. Music To produce a trill on an instrument or with the voice.
- transitive v. To utter or sing in a trilling voice.
- n. A quivering sound.
- n. A trill.
- n. Chiefly British An eighth note.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a trembling shake.
- n. a trembling of the voice, as in speaking or singing.
- n. an eighth note, drawn as a crotchet (quarter note) with a tail.
- v. to shake in a trembling manner.
- v. to use the voice in a trembling manner, as in speaking or singing.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A shake, or rapid and tremulous vibration, of the voice, or of an instrument of music.
- n. An eighth note. See Eighth.
- intransitive v. To tremble; to vibrate; to shake.
- intransitive v. Especially, to shake the voice; to utter or form sound with rapid or tremulous vibrations, as in singing; also, to trill on a musical instrument.
- transitive v. To utter with quavers.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To have a tremulous motion; tremble; vibrate.
- To sing or sound with the wavy tones of an untrained voice, or with a distinctly tremulous tone; hence, to sing, in general; also, to perform a shake or similar melodic embellishment with the voice or an instrument.
- To sing in an artless manner or with tremulous tone.
- n. A quivering; a trembling.
- n. A tremulous or quivering sound or tone.
- n. A shake or similar embellishment, particularly in vocal music.
- n. An eighth-note (which see).
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a tremulous sound
- v. give off unsteady sounds, alternating in amplitude or frequency
- v. sing or play with trills, alternating with the half note above or below
- n. a musical note having the time value of an eighth of a whole note
The English term for eighth-notes gets it right with "quaver", since these and other notes can do exactly that when played with alternating intensity, and even, suggests Quantz, duration.
When I have something to say, I do not waver and quaver around it like this.
It does not matter, though, because even philosophers quaver in the face of death, Socrates notwithstanding.
She speaks with cheerful firmness but I can hear the quaver in her voice.
“Cal,” Maggie said coming toward him, a quaver in her voice.
She heard the quaver in her voice and steadied it.
“Zo, listen, I know this is weird, but I just feel like I have to ask—” Cara could hear her voice quaver.
And instead, clear as a bell and distinct, without the slightest shake or quaver, came George's voice through the megaphone:
He dabbed his eyes, trying desperately to control the quaver in his voice.
Though Bruce Springsteen's gruff bark is an uncomfortable fit with Davies's camp quaver, they recast Better Things as a Byrdsy ramble that's an improvement on the original's clumping new wave.