Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To shake with or as if with cold; tremble. See Synonyms at shake.
  • intransitive v. To quiver or vibrate, as by the force of the wind.
  • transitive v. Nautical To cause (a sail) to flutter by sailing too close to the wind.
  • n. An instance of shivering or trembling.
  • n. An attack of shivering. Used with the.
  • intransitive v. To break into fragments or splinters; shatter.
  • transitive v. To cause to break suddenly into fragments or splinters.
  • n. A fragment or splinter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fragment or splinter, especially of glass or stone.
  • v. To break into splinters or fragments.
  • v. To tremble or shake, especially when cold or frightened.
  • n. The act or result of shivering.
  • n. A bodily response to early hypothermia (Wikipedia).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the small pieces, or splinters, into which a brittle thing is broken by sudden violence; -- generally used in the plural.
  • n. A thin slice; a shive.
  • n. A variety of blue slate.
  • n. A sheave or small wheel in a pulley.
  • n. A small wedge, as for fastening the bolt of a window shutter.
  • n. A spindle.
  • transitive v. To break into many small pieces, or splinters; to shatter; to dash to pieces by a blow.
  • intransitive v. To separate suddenly into many small pieces or parts; to be shattered.
  • intransitive v. To tremble; to vibrate; to quiver; to shake, as from cold or fear.
  • transitive v. To cause to shake or tremble, as a sail, by steering close to the wind.
  • n. The act of shivering or trembling.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as shive, 1.
  • n. A broken bit; a splinter; a sliver; one of many small pieces or fragments such as are produced by a sudden and violent shock or blow. Also shive.
  • n. 3. In mineralogy, a species of blue slate; schist; shale.
  • n. Nautical, a sheave; the wheel of a pulley.
  • n. A small wedge or key.
  • To break into many small fragments or splinters; shatter; dash to pieces at a blow.
  • Synonyms Shatter, etc. See dash.
  • To burst, fly, or fall at once into many small pieces of parts.
  • To shake; shudder; tremble; quiver; specifically, to shake with cold.
  • Synonyms Shiver, Quake. Shudder, Quiver. We shiver with cold or a sensation like that of cold; we quake with fear; we shudder with horror. To quiver is to have a slight tremulous or fluttering motion: as, her lip quivered; to quiver in every nerve.
  • Nautical, to cause to flutter or shake in the wind, as a sail by trimming the yards or shifting the helm so that the wind strikes on the edge of the sail.
  • n. A tremulous, quivering motion; a shaking-or trembling-fit, especially from cold.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an almost pleasurable sensation of fright
  • n. a reflex motion caused by cold or fear or excitement
  • v. shake, as from cold
  • v. tremble convulsively, as from fear or excitement

Etymologies

Middle English chiveren, shiveren.
Middle English shiveren, from shivere, splinter.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From a Germanic word, probably present in Old English though unattested, cognate with Old High German scivaro (German Schiefer ‘slate’). (Wiktionary)
Origin uncertain, perhaps an alteration of chavel. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Hmm, it surprises me that I actually trusted her enough to let her cut my hair .. * shiver shiver*.

    o0anu0o Diary Entry

  • Such an apology was always humiliating, and usually painful, but what made her shiver was the chance of being denied death at the end, of being forced to continue as if nothing had occurred while everyone, common as well as the Blood, knew her degradation.

    The Shadow Rising

  • He leaps at the trees and hoofs through the bracken, eyes wide in despair; his moonlit pelt spattered by mud and debris as hand-echoed huntcalls shiver the air.

    The Rik Files

  • A different kind of shiver ran through Jane when he said that.

    One Season of Sunshine

  • Hell, the page I posted uses "shiver" twice, for Christ's sake.

    Nick Mamatas' Journal

  • A kind of shiver ran through the country last week as the coffin was dug up.

    A Daughter Denied?

  • Nothing that puts that kind of shiver up your spine is dull.

    In Gordath Wood: Writer Patrice Sarath » Old man Adler haunts my dreams…

  • But Kafka has that magic of actuality in even the most dislocated phrase that no other modern has, a kind of shiver + grinding blue ache in your teeth.

    Becoming Susan Sontag

  • There was a kind of shiver, and Trace heard something go chink on the floor near his boot.

    Archive 2006-08-01

  • There was a stillness in me, a kind of shiver went up.

    CNN Transcript Apr 3, 2005

Comments

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  • I thought of those Magic Eye pictures, the disturbing moment when three dimensions shiver out of two. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    March 30, 2012

  • Synonymous with rigor in medicine.

    December 9, 2007

  • Ah, you're just jealous. ;-P

    November 17, 2007

  • That makes for great alliteration. A shiver of sharks. A shiver of sharks. Screw plinth, this is the eyeworm of tomorrow.

    November 16, 2007

  • A group of sharks

    November 16, 2007