\ ˈkwāk How to pronounce quake (audio) \
quaked; quaking

Definition of quake

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to shake or vibrate usually from shock or instability
2 : to tremble or shudder usually from cold or fear



Definition of quake (Entry 2 of 2)

: an instance of shaking or trembling (as of the earth or moon) especially : earthquake

Synonyms for quake

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of quake in a Sentence

Verb She was quaking with rage. The explosion made the whole house quake. Noun the quake registered 6.5 on the Richter scale, causing widespread damage
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Paintings are broken down into bits and pieces, which then quake, or dissolve, or morph into one thing or another. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 10 Feb. 2022 The slow pace of emergency aid distribution has flustered international charities, which partly attribute delays to quake damage and the effects of Tropical Storm Grace. Arkansas Online, 22 Aug. 2021 Bailey doesn’t bow and quake before each of Roth’s dozens of works. Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2021 Generally in Utah, earthquakes greater than magnitude 5 happen once every 10 years, and quakes greater than magnitude 6 happen once every 50 years, the USGS says. Jason Hanna And Konstantin Toropin, CNN, 18 Mar. 2020 The East Bay and San Benito County quakes were not related and are not part of the same fault system. Los Angeles Times, 15 Oct. 2019 The Sox, accused of using their video replay room to steal signs under Cora in 2018, should be quaking in their cleats. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Jan. 2020 The book, which is slim and focussed, quakes with a nervous energy that often erupts into euphoria. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 2 Dec. 2019 Who dropped his Doritos with quaking hands and a quivering lip when Lady Edith Crawley (Laura Carmichael) was left at the altar? BostonGlobe.com, 20 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Taiwan have descended safely, as the island on Monday repaired damage caused by the quake. BostonGlobe.com, 19 Sep. 2022 About 250 people were injured by the quake, including approximately 150 individuals in the city of Moxi, per the AP. Abigail Adams, Peoplemag, 6 Sep. 2022 Those affected by the quake were already among Haiti’s most food-insecure. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 21 Aug. 2022 After the quake, the United Nations appealed for $187 million. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 21 Aug. 2022 After the quake, the Japan Meteorological Agency kept their tsunami warning level low, while the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no longer a threat, according to AP. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, 16 Mar. 2022 No casualties were reported three hours after the quake, and the extent of damage is not yet known. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 16 Mar. 2022 No tsunami warning was issued after the quake, the National Weather Service said Saturday evening. Los Angeles Times, 26 Feb. 2022 Statewide, economic output is expected to drop $44.2 billion, or 4.2%, during the first six months after the quake. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quake.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of quake


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quake


Middle English, from Old English cwacian

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Time Traveler for quake

Time Traveler

The first known use of quake was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near quake



quake grass

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Statistics for quake

Cite this Entry

“Quake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quake. Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for quake


\ ˈkwāk How to pronounce quake (audio) \
quaked; quaking

Kids Definition of quake

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to shake usually from shock or lack of stability The explosion made the house quake.
2 : to tremble or shudder usually from cold or fear Regardless, the guards' faces were stern and hard, and she quaked inside.— Grace Lin, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon



Kids Definition of quake (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on quake

Nglish: Translation of quake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quake for Arabic Speakers


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