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See also: trépidation



Borrowed from Latin trepidātiō, from trepidō (be agitated).



trepidation (countable and uncountable, plural trepidations)

  1. A fearful state; a state of concern or hesitation.
    Synonyms: agitation, apprehension, consternation, fear, hesitation, worry
    I decided, with considerable trepidation, to let him drive my car without me.
    • 1915, Edgar Jepson, “The Reluctant Duke”, in Happy Pollyooly: The Rich Little Poor Girl, Indianapolis, Ind.: Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC, page 135:
      She reached it soon after half-past two. She found its gloomy nineteenth-century façade, black with the smuts of ninety years, a little daunting, and mounted its broad steps in some trepidation. But she rang the bell hard and knocked firmly.
    • 1929, M. Barnard Eldershaw, chapter VII, in A House is Built:
      She opened the drawing-room door in trepidation. Would she find Esther drowned with her head in the goldfish bowl, or hanged from the chandelier by her stay-lace?
    • 2011 December 10, Marc Higginson, “Bolton 1 – 2 Aston Villa”, in BBC Sport:
      The Midlanders will hope the victory will kickstart a campaign that looked to have hit the buffers, but the sense of trepidation enveloping the Reebok Stadium heading into the new year underlines the seriousness of the predicament facing Owen Coyle's men.
  2. An involuntary trembling, sometimes an effect of paralysis, but usually caused by terror or fear.
    Synonyms: quaking, quivering
  3. (astronomy, obsolete) A libration of the starry sphere in the Ptolemaic system; a motion ascribed to the firmament, to account for certain small changes in the position of the ecliptic and of the stars.

Related terms[edit]