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Quaver   /kwˈeɪvər/   Listen
Quaver

verb
(past & past part. quavered; pres. part. quavering)
1.
Give off unsteady sounds, alternating in amplitude or frequency.  Synonym: waver.
2.
Sing or play with trills, alternating with the half note above or below.  Synonyms: trill, warble.






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"Quaver" Quotes from Famous Books



... curly, But, for a spaniel, wondrous surely; Instead of curvets gay and brisk, He slouch'd along without a frisk, With dogged air, as if he had A good half mind to running mad; Mayhap the shaking at his ear Had been a quaver too severe; Mayhap the whip's "exclusive dealing" Had too much hurt e'en spaniel feeling, Nor if he had been cut, 'twas plain He did not ...
— The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood • Thomas Hood

... lights went out and the violins began to quaver their long D against the rude figure of the basses, Mrs. Harsanyi saw her husband's fingers fluttering on his knee in a rapid tattoo. At the moment when SIEGLINDE entered from the side door, she leaned toward him and whispered in ...
— Song of the Lark • Willa Cather

... nor yet a Quaver, an' as for Friers," said he, very deliberately, "why—Frier yourself, ...
— The Broad Highway • Jeffery Farnol

... a kind of new contrivance of Mother Nature in the shape of man, whom age and infirmity had no business to touch. His voice and laugh, which perpetually re-echoed through the Custom-House, had nothing of the tremulous quaver and cackle of an old man's utterance; they came strutting out of his lungs, like the crow of a cock, or the blast of a clarion. Looking at him merely as an animal,—and there was very little else to look at,—he was a most satisfactory object, from the thorough healthfulness and wholesomeness ...
— The Scarlet Letter • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... that," said Aladdin, with a quaver. "Please make me think that if you can, for, God help me, I think I would have ...
— Aladdin O'Brien • Gouverneur Morris

... put his hand on her shoulder, and with a "I'll just trouble you—this way please," and not so much as a quaver in his voice, led her ...
— An Australian Lassie • Lilian Turner

... learning why—why the sun do shine on the just and the unjust alike," she answered, with a slight quaver in her voice. "But that's what ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... running the words together and speaking with a parrot-like monotony in an unnaturally high-pitched key. Then his voice began to quaver a little till he stopped short with a cry of despair—"I cannot mind the words, I cannot say my prayers. Oh! will nobody say them for me? If mother, as is not in Lon'on, were here, she would do it fast," he ended, flinging out one thin arm and clutching convulsively at ...
— A Houseful of Girls • Sarah Tytler

... (whatever that may be;) and is that a small crescent moon of darkness swimming in its disc? or does the eye disclose a bright light from within, where his soul sits and enjoys bright day? Is he a point of admiration whose head is too heavy, or a quaver or crotchet that has lost his neighbors, and fallen out of the scale? Is he an aspiring Tadpole in search of an idea? What have been and what will be the fortunes of this our small Nigel (Nigellus)? Think of "Elia" having him sent up from the Goblin Valley, packed in wool, ...
— Spare Hours • John Brown

... dressed in white muslin gowns. They would laugh at some cake that had not come out right. And my great aunts who were Huguenots, rigid but happy, with long chains of gold about their necks, would interpret the revelations of the Prophets to one another. And five and seventy years would quaver in each of their cracked voices. And my maternal grandsire at nineteen, with the green coat ...
— Romance of the Rabbit • Francis Jammes

... suggestion of the buzzing of drone-flies, or humble bees, in the tones of its sympathetic strings, which often numbered as many as twenty-four. These violas recall the Hardanger peasant fiddle of Norway, of unknown origin and antiquity, whose delicate metallic under strings quaver tremulously and mysteriously when the bow sets in motion the ...
— For Every Music Lover - A Series of Practical Essays on Music • Aubertine Woodward Moore

... wall beside the window, letting her hand drop in a hopeless gesture. The sample answer had hurt her, who could never see, by its mere thoughtlessness and by the joy that made her sister's voice quaver. The music grew louder and louder, and now there came with it the sound of a great multitude, cheering, singing the march with the trumpets, shouting for Don John; and all at once as the throng burst from the street to the open avenue the voices drowned the clarions for ...
— In The Palace Of The King - A Love Story Of Old Madrid • F. Marion Crawford

... Their melancholy quaver, lone and low, When day is done, the gray tree-toads repeat: The whippoorwills, far in the afterglow, Complain to silence: and the lightnings beat, In one still cloud, glimmers of ...
— Poems • Madison Cawein

... these enchanted woods, You who dare. Nothing harms beneath the leaves More than waves a swimmer cleaves, Toss your heart up with the lark, Foot at peace with mouse and worm. Fair you fare. Only at a dread of dark Quaver, and they quit their form: Thousand eyeballs under hoods Have you by the hair. Enter these enchanted ...
— Plum Pudding - Of Divers Ingredients, Discreetly Blended & Seasoned • Christopher Morley

... my dream when I heard Bernhardt rise. A moment later I felt his eyes prowling over my body. Then a shadow darkened my face and Bernhardt said with a strange quaver ...
— Secret Memoirs: The Story of Louise, Crown Princess • Henry W. Fischer

... from the first words I discovered that his education had been frightfully neglected, that he was ignorant of the most vulgar notions of the divine art, and that he scarcely knew the difference between a sharp and a quaver. It was really the A, B, C, which he wished me to teach him. Laborious task, ungrateful labor! But he manifested so much shame at his ignorance, and so much desire to be instructed, that I felt moved in his favor. Then his countenance ...
— Other People's Money • Emile Gaboriau

... used straight, and took away the surrounding axes that were bound in with them. After he had in this way assumed an attitude of humility, he kept a sad countenance for some time and shed tears: and when he at last managed to utter a sound, he spoke in a low fearful voice with a suggestion of a quaver. [The general subject ...
— Dio's Rome, Vol VI. • Cassius Dio

... saying. Also, these poems employ numerous compound epithets and far-fetched conceits. (Dom Diego goes hunting with a "beast-dismembring blade" [p. 64], and Cinyras incestuous bed in The Scourge "doth shake and quaver as they lie,/As if it groan'd to beare the ...
— Seven Minor Epics of the English Renaissance (1596-1624) • Dunstan Gale

... had knocked, it occurred to me that if so my position would be painful to a degree. However in this particular Fortune stood my friend, which does not always happen to the virtuous. For presently I heard a voice which I recognized as that of Mr. Savage, asking, not without a certain quaver in its tone, ...
— The Ivory Child • H. Rider Haggard

... pipes and flutes, and violins and violoncellos, divide the supremacy between them. It is the region of song and smoke. Street bands are on their mettle in Golden Square, and itinerant glee singers quaver involuntarily as they raise their voices ...
— Charles Dickens and Music • James T. Lightwood

... said, "don't be hasty." Jerkline Jo had seen many a fight between big men of the outdoor life. It was no new experience, and there was not a quaver in her tones. She had been brought up where men settled matters with fists or guns or pick handles. "Listen, Hiram," she continued, "Mr. Drummond is telling the truth, I think, up to a certain point. When you boys were way ahead of me yesterday ...
— The She Boss - A Western Story • Arthur Preston Hankins

... journey to my sisters. The journey over the heath I gave them in a monotonous piece, composed of three tones, quite dissimilar to that composed by Rousseau. My sisters were near despair; but I told them it was not more uninteresting than the heath. Sometimes I made a little flight, a quaver; that was the heath-larks which flew up into the air. The introduction to the gypsy-chorus in 'Preciosa' signified the German gypsy-flock. Then came the thema out of 'Jeannot and Collin'—'O, joyous days of childhood!'—and then thou wast at home. I thundered powerfully ...
— O. T. - A Danish Romance • Hans Christian Andersen

... it. While the mob of Constables kept cowering in the bar-room down-stairs, crying out to us to surrender in the King's name,—I believe that one poor creature, the Justice of Peace, after getting himself well walled up in a corner with chairs and tables, began to quaver out the King's Proclamation against the Blacks,—the plaguy Soldiers came blundering up both pair of stairs, and fell upon us Billy Boys tooth and nail. 'Slid! my blood simmers when I think of it. Over went the tables and settles! Smash went trenchers ...
— The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous, Vol. 1 of 3 • George Augustus Sala

... all mind, the better. Blessed Is he whose heart is the home of the great dead, And their great thoughts. Who can mistake great thoughts They seize upon the mind; arrest and search, And shake it; bow the tall soul as by wind; Rush over it like a river over reeds, Which quaver in the current; turn us cold, And pale, and voiceless; leaving in the brain A rocking and a ringing; glorious, But momentary, madness might it last, And close the soul with heaven as with a seal! In lieu of all these things ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3 • Various

... it couldn't be badder!" cried Nurse Nancy. "My gown and cap ruinated, my nursery spattered with mud, the back stairs like a street with clay an' rain, yourselves drenched an' drownded, an' your clothes spoiled. And into the bargain," added Nancy, with a quaver in her voice, "my spectacles broken into smash, an' I without e'er another pair to see my way ...
— Terry - Or, She ought to have been a Boy • Rosa Mulholland

... thank you!" she said, with a quaver in her voice. And then, in obedience to Rainham's playfully threatening gesture, ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... Hayden," with a plaintive quaver in her voice, "won't you drive about a little with me? I must talk to some one. I must have advice and—and the sympathy that I know your generous heart will be only too ready to give. It may be unconventional to ask you, and I may be taking up far too much of ...
— The Silver Butterfly • Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

... go walking in the moonlight to-night ... shall we?" whispered Gaga. Sally nodded, making her voice quaver by the motion. Gaga could not see her face; but Sally knew that even if he had done so he would have been quite unable to read her thoughts, which were dry and inflexible. He remained by her side until she had finished the song, and then fiercely pressed her head back until he was able ...
— Coquette • Frank Swinnerton

... Lockwood, with a quaver in his voice, "do you really think I am not doing my duty by Dora ...
— The Girls of Central High on Lake Luna - or, The Crew That Won • Gertrude W. Morrison

... slipped out before she saw its significance. She might not have perceived it so quickly even then had it not been for the second of hesitation before Drusilla answered and the quaver in her voice when ...
— The Street Called Straight • Basil King

... light-minutes to pass, before he could hear her voice. "Hello, Frank..." There was the same eager quaver. "Still pretty jammed, Frank... But we know about it here—from Art... Some of the Pallastown convalescents will be migrating your way... I'll wrangle free and come along... ...
— The Planet Strappers • Raymond Zinke Gallun

... that crawled, and crept, and frightened us ever so much," I told him, with a quaver ...
— Little Folks - A Magazine for the Young (Date of issue unknown) • Various

... his hands tight-clenched, and though he tried to frown, he couldn't hide the pitiful twitching of his lips nor the quaver in his voice. ...
— The Definite Object - A Romance of New York • Jeffery Farnol

... was a subject you didn't wish to be referred to. I only want to do so indirectly. It wasn't"—he faltered—"it wasn't because you were dissatisfied with me?" he concluded, with a quaver. ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... attribution of some of his numerous compositions to his elder brother is a pardonable mistake, if we may judge by the works that have been reprinted. But the statement, which continues to be repeated in standard works of reference, that "he was one of the first of Italians to use the quaver and its subdivisions" is incomprehensible. Quavers were common property in all musical countries quite early in the 16th century, and semiquavers appear in a madrigal of Palestrina published in 1574. The two brothers are probably the ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Part 1, Slice 1 • Various

... so splendid was Mrs. Worthington's erect and imposing figure, so blonde her blonde hair, so bright her striking color and so comprehensive the sweep of her blue and scintillating gown. Yet was Mrs. Worthington not at ease, as might be noticed in the unnatural quaver of her high-pitched voice and the restless motion of her hands, as she seated herself with an arm studiedly resting ...
— At Fault • Kate Chopin

... forms the next upon the marshal'd plain In deepening ranks his dexterous cypher-train; And counts, as wheel the decimating bands, 130 The dews of AEgypt, or Arabia's sands, And then the third on four concordant lines Prints the lone crotchet, and the quaver joins; Marks the gay trill, the solemn pause inscribes, And parts with bars the undulating tribes. 135 Pleased round her cane-wove throne, the applauding crowd Clap'd their rude hands, their swarthy foreheads bow'd; With loud acclaim ...
— The Botanic Garden. Part II. - Containing The Loves of the Plants. A Poem. - With Philosophical Notes. • Erasmus Darwin

... divinely, this ghostly flageoleteer, and knows his Handel to a demi-semi-quaver," ...
— Doom Castle • Neil Munro

... spoken of. She had a long fair face, and white hair surmounted by a battered black bonnet, a mouth set rather on one side, and a more observant and refined air than most of her neighbours. She sighed while she talked, and spoke in a delicate quaver. ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... too old to be of any service to them. Your poets are entirely at the disposal of your famous musicians; one declares that he cannot sing without there is in his air the word felicita; the tenor must have tomba; while a third singer can only quaver upon the word catene. The poor bard must make these different whims agree with dramatic situation as well as he can. This is not all; there are actors who will not appear immediately treading the boards of the stage; they must first ...
— Corinne, Volume 1 (of 2) - Or Italy • Mme de Stael

... I know,' she cried, with a little quaver in her voice; 'and there is nothing more terrible on earth than lack of money. If there was a single really civilized country in existence, it would make provision for its women. Every woman should be assured enough to live on, merely because she ...
— A Woman Intervenes • Robert Barr

... the whole orthodoxy of the Non-conformists would he retained and preserved by the Independent congregations in England, after the Presbyterian had almost without exception become, first, Arian, then Socinian, and finally Unitarian: that is, the 'demi-semi-quaver' of Christianity, Arminianism ...
— Coleridge's Literary Remains, Volume 4. • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... sleepy. I don't mind a little mist and I'm plenty warm." This cheerful assertion was belied by the miserable quaver in ...
— The Winds of Chance • Rex Beach

... his head and whinnied. At the first quaver, De Lacy touched Selim and rode out into the moonlight toward the ...
— Beatrix of Clare • John Reed Scott

... at Shawnee was the site of another house-wren's nest. While I stood quite close watching the little mother, she fed her bantlings twice without a quaver of fear, the youngsters chirping loudly for more of "that good dinner." At this place barn swallows were describing graceful circles and loops in the air, and a sheeny violet-green swallow squatted on the dusty road and took a sun-bath, which she did by fluffing ...
— Birds of the Rockies • Leander Sylvester Keyser

... sooner have heard anything than that Geoffrey was badly hurt," he exclaimed with a quaver in his voice. To the Chinaman, who brought the stranger in, he gave the order, "Get him some supper and tell Fontaine I want him ...
— Thurston of Orchard Valley • Harold Bindloss

... horrible circle around it, whooping and yelling and singing their war-songs, leaping and whirling and dancing their war-dance, clashing together their hatchets and war-clubs, waving above them the scalps of their foemen, went the barbarians merry as demons. And strong and clear, with never a quaver, still was heard above the confusion the hymning voice of the smoke-hid victim. But louder and higher than all, it is coming, ringing from far like the blast of a trumpet—a voice so stern, abrupt, and imperious that forthwith ceases the ...
— Burl • Morrison Heady

... confused and disorderly Voices. Our tunes are left to the Mercy of every unskilful Throat to chop and alter, to twist and change, according to their infinitely divers and no less Odd Humours and Fancies. I have myself paused twice in one note to take breath. No two Men in the Congregation quaver alike or together, it sounds in the Ears of a Good Judge like five hundred different Tunes roared out at the same Time, with ...
— Sabbath in Puritan New England • Alice Morse Earle

... twelve we "weighed anchor" and I went on deck to take a last look at Dixie with the rest of the party. Every heart was full. Each left brothers, sisters, husband, children, or dear friends behind. We sang, "Farewell dear land," with a slight quaver in our voices, looked at the beautiful starlight shining on the last boundary of our glorious land, and, fervently and silently praying, ...
— A Confederate Girl's Diary • Sarah Morgan Dawson

... argument in their power. Often have they been heard in the dusk of evening singing behind a remote hedge that melancholy ditty, "Let us BOTH be unhappy together," which rose upon the twilight breeze with a cautious quaver of ...
— Stories by English Authors: Ireland • Various

... are going to talk like that, my boy," he began, with never a quaver in his voice, "it's best for us to understand each other straight off. Once and for all let me tell you that I'll have none of your bounce. Whether or not this business is destined to come to anything, you may rely upon one thing, and that is the fact that I did ...
— My Strangest Case • Guy Boothby

... into her face that transformed and transfigured her. "My boy was in Ann Arbor. He was killed on the train on his way home one day." She stopped, for fear of breaking into a quaver, and smiled brightly. "That's why I always like college boys. They all stop here with me." She rose hastily. "Well, you'll excuse me, won't you, and I'll go ...
— Other Main-Travelled Roads • Hamlin Garland

... Both of them was sure bad enough. But I reckon Masten's got them both roped an' hog-tied for natural meanness." He turned to Owen. "I reckon I had to do it, old man," he said, a quaver in ...
— The Range Boss • Charles Alden Seltzer

... back on the arm-rack deliberately,—the men were at the far end of the room,—and took out his rifle and packet of ammunition. "Don't go playing the goat, Sim!" said Losson. "Put it down," but there was a quaver in his voice. Another man stooped, slipped his boot and hurled it at Simmon's head. The prompt answer was a shot which, fired at random, found its billet in Losson's throat. Losson fell forward without a word, and the ...
— Under the Deodars • Rudyard Kipling

... small table set out for tea, to which the servant who had admitted her now returned with a steaming kettle. "Isn't it charming here? Will there be any one else? Where IS Mr. Van? Shall I make tea?" There was just a faint quaver, showing a command of the situation more desired perhaps than achieved, in the very rapid sequence of these ejaculations. The servant meanwhile had placed the hot water above the little silver lamp ...
— The Awkward Age • Henry James

... and, though his words were seemingly irrelevant, they were to the point. His voice had a note of martyrdom running through its senile quaver. ...
— Roads of Destiny • O. Henry

... Katherine knows more about such persons than you?" asked Sally, and there was such a funny quaver in her voice that I turned to see what it meant. She was laughing, but whether at me or at Mrs. Ess Kay, or at the man with the Lobster-Claw nose, I couldn't tell; and before I could answer her question by asking another, something happened which put the whole conversation ...
— Lady Betty Across the Water • Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson

... grew the voice, still fainter, Sinking almost to a whisper, With a hesitating quaver, As the picture came before her Of her disappearing people. Then I rose and piled more branches Of the redwood on the campfire, And the flames and sparks leaped upward, Lighting up the mournful forest, Driving back ...
— The Legends of San Francisco • George W. Caldwell

... beside her aunts, not hearing the strains of the last hymn nor the quaver of Aunt Anne's trembling ...
— The Captives • Hugh Walpole

... yet with a quaver in his voice, for there was a depth of passion here, intensified by the spirited resistance ...
— The Ghost Breaker - A Novel Based Upon the Play • Charles Goddard

... much cheek, but this was beyond her endowment; she was appalled at the unearthly strangeness of the whole proceeding, and when she spoke there was a skeleton rattle in her words and a quaver of startled ghastliness in her laugh. She had been alarmed for her boy, and when I appeared she thought I was a swell bringing him in under arrest; but when I announced myself in Romany as an accomplice, emotion stifled thought. And I lingered not, and spoke no more, but walked away into the woods ...
— The Gypsies • Charles G. Leland

... bruised and batter'd hoof, And, with an amiable mien, His master patted on the chin, The action gracing with a word— The fondest bray that e'er was heard! O, such caressing was there ever? Or melody with such a quaver? 'Ho! Martin![6] here! a club, a club bring!' Out cried the master, sore offended. So Martin gave the ass a drubbing,— And ...
— The Fables of La Fontaine - A New Edition, With Notes • Jean de La Fontaine

... profound, save for the drizzle of the rain and the drip from the wet branches. He had been walking for a minute or two, trying to keep his path in the thickening twilight, when, far in the depths of the mist, a cannon thundered. Almost at once he heard the whistling quaver of a shell, high in the sky. Nearer and nearer it came, the woods hummed with the shrill vibration; then it passed, screeching; there came a swift glare in the sky, a sharp report, and the steel fragments ...
— Lorraine - A romance • Robert W. Chambers

... word in a long-drawn quaver which gave it a horrid sound—especially in the woods, after dark. And Turkey Proudfoot felt chills a-running up and down ...
— The Tale of Turkey Proudfoot - Slumber-Town Tales • Arthur Scott Bailey

... building would serve, in case of a bolt's striking the church, to drive its whole force into the building. As a loud crash burst over the village in the midst of his sermon, and showed how frightfully near the storm was, his voice broke into a shrill quaver, as he faltered out, "Yes, my brethren, let us be calm under all circumstances, and ...
— Trumps • George William Curtis



Words linked to "Quaver" :   voice, sound, note, vocalise, vocalize, sing, tone, musical note



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