AskDefine | Define shivering

Dictionary Definition

shivering adj : vibrating slightly and irregularly; as e.g. with fear or cold or like the leaves of an aspen in a breeze; "a quaking bog"; "the quaking child asked for more"; "quivering leaves of a poplar tree"; "with shaking knees"; "seemed shaky on her feet"; "sparkling light from the shivering crystals of the chandelier"; "trembling hands" [syn: quaking, quivering, shaking, shaky, trembling] n : a sensation of cold that often marks the start of an infection and the development of a fever [syn: chill]

User Contributed Dictionary


Verb form

  1. present participle of shiver

Extensive Definition

Shivering is a bodily function in response to early hypothermia in warm-blooded animals. When the core body temperature drops, the shivering reflex is triggered. Muscle groups around the vital organs begin to shake in small movements in an attempt to create warmth by expending energy. Shivering can also be a response to a fever as a person may feel cold, though their core temperature is already elevated.
Located in the dorsomedial portion of the hypothalamus near the wall of the third ventricle is an area called the primary motor center for shivering. This area is normally inhibited by signals from the heat center in the anterior hypothalamic-preoptic area but is excited by cold signals from the skin and spinal cord. Therefore, this center becomes activated when the body temperature falls even a fraction of a degree below a critical temperature level.
Increased muscular activity results in wasted heat - here the heat is utilized for warmth.
Shivering can also appear after surgery. This is known as post-surgical shivering.

External links

shivering in German: Zittern
shivering in French: Frissonnement
shivering in Italian: Brivido
shivering in Hebrew: צמרמורת
shivering in Dutch: Koude rilling
shivering in Polish: Dreszcze
shivering in Portuguese: Arrepio

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ache, aching, agitated, ague, aguey, aguish, algid, all shook up, all-overish, aspen, blue with cold, bumpiness, chattering, chilblains, chill, chilliness, chilling, chilly, chorea, cold, cold creeps, cold shivers, cool, creeps, cryopathy, dithers, dithery, duck bumps, fidgeting, fidgety, fits and starts, fluttery, frostbite, frozen, frozen to death, goose bumps, goose pimples, gooseflesh, half-frozen, horripilation, in a quiver, jactation, jactitation, jerkiness, jittery, joltiness, jumpy, kibe, palsied, palsy, quaking, quavering, quavery, quivering, quivery, shakes, shaking, shaky, shivers, shivery, shook up, shuddering, skittery, spasms, succussatory, succussion, succussive, trembling, trembly, tremulant, tremulous, tremulousness, twitchy, twittery, vibrating, vibration, with chattering teeth, wobbly
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