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Definition of Idiomatic Expressions


What does quake like a leaf mean?

Meaning of idioms with examples...

quake like a leaf

If you quake like a leaf, you tremble violently because you are afraid, nervous, or very cold.

Other related idioms are the following:

shake like a leaf.
shake in one's boots.

Here are some synonyms of the term 'quake':


The origin of the idiom

This idiom alludes to trembling leaves. Geoffrey Chaucer used it in "The Canterbury Tales". In The Summoner's Prologue, lines 1-18, the Summoner comments on the Friar's tale:

High in his stirrups, then, the summoner stood;
Against the friar his heart, as madman's would,
Shook like very aspen leaf, for ire.


The children were quaking like a leaf when their authoritative father came home.
She was quaking like a leaf when she stood up to give her presentation.
I didn't think about it at the time, but when I realized that I was in real danger, I was shaking like a leaf.
It was so cold that even my cat was quaking like a leaf.

quake like a leaf

This idiom is in the nature category

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