shudder

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I shudder to think

It is too worrying or unpleasant for me to think about something that might happen or might have happened. I shudder to think what my boss will say when I tell him I lost our biggest client.
See also: shudder, think

I dread/shudder to think

something that you say when you do not want to think about something because it is too worrying or too unpleasant (usually + question word) He was going so fast - I dread to think what would have happened if my brakes hadn't worked.
See also: think
References in classic literature ?
It was hard to associate them with anything cruel or dreadful; and yet they dealt in tales of blood and suffering with a guileless relish that made me almost forget to shudder.
His hand closed upon the knife; he raised it, glanced at it, and let it fall, with a shudder.
He remembered that the night before he had forgotten, for the first time in his life, to hide the fatal canvas, and was about to rush forward, when he drew back with a shudder.
I shudder at the thought of any, even the most trivial, incident, which may operate upon this intolerable agitation of soul.
The searchlight followed her, and a shudder ran through all who saw her, for lashed to the helm was a corpse, with drooping head, which swung horribly to and fro at each motion of the ship.
He coloured and looked astonished, as well as annoyed; and the words had no sooner escaped my lips than I felt a shock of alarm lest such an anticipation of words--very far from being words of course, easy to divine--should have betrayed me as an exceptional being, a sort of quiet energumen, whom every one, Bertha above all, would shudder at and avoid.
But the prince could now walk by himself, so that his fear must have passed; for all that, however, he continued to shudder.
I was not sorry, for I believe I never went in or came out of the place, by day or by night, without a shudder, more or less secret; and at least, now, we should be able to get another house.
Now I refrain from raising hand or voice to Porthos because his great heart is nigh to breaking if he so much as suspects that all is not well between him and me, and having struck him once some years ago never can I forget the shudder which passed through him when he saw it was I who had struck, and I shall strike him, ma'am, no more.
With a shudder of disgust she clambered above, and to the best of her ability closed and made fast the hatch above the heads of the sleeping guard.
His slender frame shook, as with ague, and at times was racked by a convulsive shudder.
The clammy coldness of his skin made Emily shudder, as they shook hands.
Some persons even got a splinter in their heart, and then it made one shudder, for their heart became like a lump of ice.
In the early days after his return from Moscow, whenever Levin shuddered and grew red, remembering the disgrace of his rejection, he said to himself: "This was just how I used to shudder and blush, thinking myself utterly lost, when I was plucked in physics and did not get my remove; and how I thought myself utterly ruined after I had mismanaged that affair of my sister's that was entrusted to me.
This idea plunged me into a reverie so despairing and frightful that even now, when the scene is on the point of closing before me forever, I shudder to reflect on it.