A quaver is a trembling or shaking sound, especially in a person's voice. When you give your first speech in front of a crowd, don't be surprised to hear a quaver in your voice.

The nervous or emotional tremor in a person's speaking voice is one kind of quaver. It's also a primarily British term for an eighth note in music. To quaver can mean both to speak in a trembling voice, or to sing in a similar way, with a little warble or trill. The fifteenth century meaning of quaver is "to tremble or vibrate," and it's related to the earlier cwavien, "to shake," from the Low German word quabbeln, "tremble."

Definitions of quaver

v give off unsteady sounds, alternating in amplitude or frequency

Type of:
sound, vocalise, vocalize, voice
utter with vibrating vocal chords

v sing or play with trills, alternating with the half note above or below

trill, warble
Type of:
produce tones with the voice

n a tremulous sound

Type of:
the sudden occurrence of an audible event

n a musical note having the time value of an eighth of a whole note

eighth note
Type of:
musical note, note, tone
a notation representing the pitch and duration of a musical sound

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