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trepidatory (comparative more trepidatory, superlative most trepidatory)

  1. That trepidates, or that causes trepidations.
    • 1953, Charles Egerton Osgood, Method and Theory in Experimental Psychology
      Unfortunately, like Guthrie he has never given a formal statement of his principles, and it is therefore up to the reader to ferret out these things for himself — always a trepidatory procedure.
    • 2003, Laurence Gardner, Realm of the Ring Lords
      This was all very good news for the Church bishops because the shapeshifting werewolf had a limited trepidatory function, especially in places like England where wolves were generally unknown, although some existed then to the north in Scotland.
    • 2008, David Downing, Silesian Station:
      Russell took his usual chair and the usual trepidatory sip, and was pleasantly surprised.
  2. Of an earthquake, having a vertical, up-and-down motion, as opposed to a horizontal, side-to-side motion.
    • 1843, Captin Sir Edward Belcher RN, Narrative of a Voyage Round the World
      This [earthquake] was felt at Mexico at precisely the same hour, lasting there about one minute and a half, the motion there being undulatory, but at Acapulco trepidatory.
    • 1882, Knowledge, volume 1
      The most severe shock lasted for 70 seconds, and combined oscillatory, trepidatory, and rotatory movement.
    • 1995, Elena Poniatowska, Aurora Camacho de Schmidt and Arthur Schmidt, Nothing, Nobody: The Voices of the Mexico City Earthquake
      The particular trepidatory and oscillatory patterns arising from the lake bed especially afflicted high-rise buildings between six and fifteen stories.