AskDefine | Define quiver

Dictionary Definition



1 an almost pleasurable sensation of fright; "a frisson of surprise shot through him" [syn: frisson, shiver, chill, shudder, thrill, tingle]
2 a shaky motion; "the shaking of his fingers as he lit his pipe" [syn: shaking, shakiness, trembling, quivering, vibration, palpitation]
3 case for holding arrows
4 the act of vibrating [syn: vibration, quivering]


1 shake with fast, tremulous movements; "His nostrils palpitated" [syn: quake, palpitate]
2 move back and forth very rapidly; "the candle flickered" [syn: flicker, waver, flitter, flutter]
3 move with or as if with a regular alternating motion; "the city pulsated with music and excitement" [syn: pulsate, beat]

User Contributed Dictionary



Etymology 1

From via quiveir, from quivre
  1. In the context of "Weapon": A container for arrows, crossbow bolts or darts, such as those fired from a bow, crossbow or blowgun.
    • 1598: Don Pedro: Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly. Benedick:I look for an earthquake too then. — William Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing, Act I, Scene I, line 271.
    • 1786: Arrows were carried in quiver, called also an arrow case, which served for the magazine, arrows for immediate use were worn in the girdle. — Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 39.
  2. Figuratively, a ready storage location for figurative tools or weapons.
    • He's got lots of sales pitches in his quiver.
arrow container

Etymology 2

From cwiver, from *cwifer


  1. Nimble, active.
    • 1598: ... there was a little quiver fellow, and 'a would manage you his piece thus; and 'a would about and about, and come you in and come you in. — William Shakespeare, Henry V, Part II, Act III, Scene II, line 281.

Etymology 3

From quiveren, probably from the adjective.


  1. To shake or move with slight and tremulous motion; to tremble; to quake; to shudder; to shiver.
    • 1593: The birds chaunt melody on every bush, The snake lies rolled in the cheerful sun, The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind And make a checker'd shadow on the ground. — William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, Act II, Scene III, line 12.

Extensive Definition

A quiver is a container for arrows, crossbow bolts or darts, such as those shot from a bow, crossbow or blowgun. Quivers have different forms depending on their use: quivers may hang from an archer's belt, from a horse saddle, or be worn on the back. Sometimes, particularly in those that hang on a saddle, the quiver has a compartment for holding the bow itself. Many quivers have lids to protect the arrows from rain, which can ruin the arrows' glue attaching the fletching.
Quivers appear in all cultures that use bow and arrow. One certain archaeological evidence is Ötzi the Iceman, the Chalcolithic man found in the Alps.
Quivers were not always employed by travelers in warfare, as a large number of arrows would often be supplied to groups of archers and stuck in the ground for more rapid shooting.
Traditional quivers used in medieval times were made of leather and canvas, these forms are still used in re-enactment events. Modern quivers, which may have a maximum capacity of 25 or 30 arrows, depending on size, are more suited to modern arrows and shooting styles. They are normally made of plastic with multiple compartments for the arrows and tools an archer would need while shooting.
The following is an excerpt from the Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge Series Books: Archery, about the different kinds of quivers:
Quivers hold your arrows when you are shooting. The style of quiver you choose will depend on the type of archery you shoot. Belt quivers attach to your belt and allows you to reach arrows easily. Styles include vertical, diagonal, hip, pocket, and holster. Ground quivers stick in the ground. They may have a rack to hold your bow as well as a container to keep your arrows upright. Back quivers sling over either shoulder. One drawback to these quivers is that you must reach high to withdraw an arrow, a problem if you are trying to sneak up on game or you are target shooting in a forested area. Bow quivers attach to the bow, giving the hunters the convenience of carrying only one piece of equipment through the brush. Some field archers use bow quivers, but tournament archers usually find them too clumsy.
quiver in German: Köcher
quiver in Spanish: Aljaba
quiver in French: Carquois
quiver in Italian: Faretra
quiver in Hungarian: Tegez
quiver in Polish: Kołczan
quiver in Portuguese: Aljava
quiver in Russian: Колчан
quiver in Swedish: Koger
quiver in Finnish: Nuolikotelo
quiver in Ukrainian: Сагайдак (зброя)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Bebung, all-overs, bale, bang, be cold, beat, beating, bicker, bindle, bob, bobble, bolt, boot, bounce, bouquet, budget, bump, bundle, charge, chatter, chill, cold shivers, cold sweat, cower, dance, dancing, deck, didder, disquiet, disquietude, dither, dithers, dodder, fagot, falter, fardel, fasces, fascine, fidget, fidgetiness, fidgets, flap, flicker, flickering, flickering light, flip out, flit, flitter, flop, fluctuate, flush, flutter, fluttering, freak out on, freeze, freeze to death, get high on, glance, glancing light, gleam, glimmer, glint, glisten, glitter, glow, go pitapat, grimace, grow cold, halt, have a chill, have an ague, have goose pimples, have the fidgets, have the shakes, heave, heaving, heebie-jeebies, horripilate, hustle, inquietude, jactitate, jar, jerk, jig, jigget, jiggle, jimjams, jitters, jog, joggle, jollies, jolt, jostle, jounce, jump, jumps, kick, lambency, lift, light show, limp, lose heat, nosegay, oscillate, pack, package, packet, palpitate, palpitation, pant, panting, parcel, perish with cold, pitapat, pitter-patter, play, play of light, posy, quake, quaking, quaver, quavering, quivering, quivers, restlessness, rictus, roll, rouleau, rush, rush of emotion, sensation, shake, shake all over, shakes, shaking, sheaf, shimmer, shiver, shivers, shock, shudder, sparkle, spasm, splutter, sputter, squirm, surge of emotion, sweat, swell, swell with emotion, teeter, thrill, thrill to, throb, throbbing, tic, tingle, tingle with excitement, tingling, titillation, toss, toss and turn, totter, tremble, trembles, trembling, tremolando, tremolant, tremolo, tremor, tremor of excitement, trepidation, trepidity, trill, trillet, trilleto, trillo, truss, tumble, turn on to, twinkle, twist and turn, twitch, twitter, unrest, vibrate, vibrato, waver, wiggle, willies, wobble, wriggle, writhe
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