shake

verb
\ ˈshāk \
shook\ˈshu̇k \; shaken\ˈshā-kən \; shaking

Definition of shake 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to move irregularly to and fro

2 : to vibrate especially as the result of a blow or shock

3 : to tremble as a result of physical or emotional disturbance shook with fear

4 : to experience a state of instability : totter

5 : to briskly move something to and fro or up and down especially in order to mix

6 : to clasp hands

transitive verb

1 : to brandish, wave, or flourish often in a threatening manner protesters shaking their fists

2 : to cause to move to and fro, up and down, or from side to side especially in a repetitive, rhythmic, or quick jerky manner shook his head in disapproval

3 : to cause to quake, quiver, or tremble

4a : to free oneself from shake a habit shake off a cold

b : to get away from : get rid of can you shake your friend? I want to talk to you alone —Elmer Davis

5 : to lessen the stability of : weaken shake one's faith

6 : to bring to a specified condition by or as if by repeated quick jerky movements shook himself loose from the man's grasp

7 : to dislodge or eject by quick jerky movements of the support or container shook the dust from the cloth

8 : to clasp (hands) in greeting or farewell or as a sign of goodwill or agreement

9 : to stir the feelings of : upset, agitate shook her up

shake a leg

1 : dance

2 : to hurry up

shake a stick at

: to form a conception of (as by counting or imagining) : conceive usually used in the phrase more than one can shake a stick at

shake

noun

Definition of shake (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of shaking: such as

a : an act of shaking hands

b : an act of shaking oneself

2a : a blow or shock that upsets the equilibrium or disturbs the balance of something

b : earthquake

3 shakes plural

a : a condition of trembling or nervousness specifically : delirium tremens

b : malaria sense 2a

4 : something produced by shaking: such as

a : a fissure separating annual rings of growth in timber

b(1) : milkshake

(2) : a beverage resembling a milkshake a protein shake

5 : a wavering, quivering, or alternating motion caused by a blow or shock

6 : trill

7 : a very brief period of time I'll be there in two shakes

8 shakes plural : one that is exceptional especially in importance, ability, or merit usually used in the phrase no great shakes

9 : a shingle split from a piece of log usually three or four feet (about one meter) long

10 : deal entry 3 sense 3 a fair shake

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Other words from shake

Verb

shakable or shakeable \ˈshā-kə-bəl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for shake

Verb

shake, agitate, rock, convulse mean to move up and down or to and fro with some violence. shake often carries a further implication of a particular purpose. shake well before using agitate suggests a violent and prolonged tossing or stirring. an ocean agitated by storms rock suggests a swinging or swaying motion resulting from violent impact or upheaval. the whole city was rocked by the explosion convulse suggests a violent pulling or wrenching as of a body in a paroxysm. spectators were convulsed with laughter

Examples of shake in a Sentence

Verb

The ground shook during the earthquake. The house shook as the train rumbled by. The earthquake shook the ground. Shake the salad dressing well before using it. I was so nervous that I was shaking like a leaf. The fugitive couldn't shake the police. It's hard to shake the feeling that I'm forgetting something. The news did nothing to shake my belief that things will be okay. Nothing could shake his faith in God.

Noun

He responded to the question with a shake of his head. Give the dice a shake. He drank too much coffee and got a bad case of the shakes.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Trump imagines that America unbound, shaking hands or giving the finger, depending upon short-term interests and Presidential whims, will flourish among the other rogues. George Packer, The New Yorker, "Donald Trump Goes Rogue," 17 June 2018 But as violent protests over sharply rising fuel prices shook the island nation, a dozen members of North Albemarle Baptist Church still took refuge Monday in an orphanage outside the capital city. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Haiti 'just completely blew up,' NC pastor says of stranded mission team," 9 July 2018 Twitter shares, though, have gained 83% this year after the company shook off worries about its viability. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Twitter Sheds $3.1 Billion After Suspending Millions of Questionable Accounts," 9 July 2018 To make the mocktail: Add all ingredients and ice to a cocktail shaker, shake until well incorporated. Kellie Hwang, azcentral, "Mocktail recipes: How to make tasty non-alcoholic drinks for your Fourth of July party," 3 July 2018 New York’s Oceanside High School were beyond shook on Monday night when Hadid, apparently shooting with photographers down at nearby Long Beach, stopped by to join in the action and hop on the party bus. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Bella Hadid Crashed a High School Prom Wearing Juicy Couture," 27 June 2018 Last summer, Charlottesville, Virginia, became the site of a multi-day white-supremacist march and rally that left one woman, a counter-protester, dead, setting off a wave of emotions and accusations that shook the city and the country. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "Charlottesville’s Divides Are America’s Divides," 26 June 2018 The injured man was able to communicate with a tablet and by shaking or nodding his head. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "Man charged with killing a woman and beating a man in the face with a brick," 12 July 2018 In passing at the Junos [Canada's Grammy equivalent, the Juno Awards] years ago, probably eight years ago, just passing down a hallway and shaking hands. Karen Bliss, Billboard, "LIGHTS Talks Covering Side B of Drake's 'Scorpion' and Why He's 'Empowering' for Women," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Staff shake-ups, meanwhile, have left Mattis with fewer close allies. Missy Ryan, Greg Jaffe, Anchorage Daily News, "At summit, Mattis faces uphill battle," 10 July 2018 Staff shake-ups, meanwhile, have left Mattis with fewer close allies. Missy Ryan, Greg Jaffe, Anchorage Daily News, "At summit, Mattis faces uphill battle," 10 July 2018 Staff shake-ups, meanwhile, have left Mattis with fewer close allies. Missy Ryan, Greg Jaffe, Anchorage Daily News, "At summit, Mattis faces uphill battle," 10 July 2018 Sweet Dee's also serves breakfast and lunch items such as avocado toast, along with coffees, teas, shakes and a variety of pastries. Jennifer Mcclellan, azcentral, "New restaurants in Phoenix in June have standout burgers, Mexican food, pizza," 1 July 2018 Staff shake-ups, meanwhile, have left Mattis with fewer close allies. Missy Ryan, Greg Jaffe, Anchorage Daily News, "At summit, Mattis faces uphill battle," 10 July 2018 More: Big changes brewing for Cowboys' offense after offseason shake-ups More: Dak Prescott willing to be flexible with Cowboys on next contract More: Ranking NFL backup QBs by team: Who has best contingency plan? Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "Cowboys training camp questions: Who steps up at receiver for Dak Prescott?," 12 July 2018 What was Scott's role in either the company's decline or the shake-up of executives at his top investment? Mary Ellen Klas, miamiherald, "Rick Scott and family made $550M in one transaction. How 'blind' is his blind trust?," 11 July 2018 Staff shake-ups, meanwhile, have left Mattis with fewer close allies. Missy Ryan, Greg Jaffe, Anchorage Daily News, "At summit, Mattis faces uphill battle," 10 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of shake

Verb

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

Noun

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for shake

Verb

Middle English, from Old English sceacan; akin to Old Norse skaka to shake

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Learn More about shake

Dictionary Entries near shake

shaitan

Shaiva

Shakalsha

shake

shake-bag

shake-bolt

shake-cabin

Statistics for shake

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shake

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

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More Definitions for shake

shake

verb

English Language Learners Definition of shake

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move sometimes violently back and forth or up and down with short, quick movements

: to move or have parts of your body move in short, quick movements and in a way that you are not able to control

: to free yourself from (someone or something) : to get away from or get rid of (someone or something)

shake

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shake (Entry 2 of 2)

: a short, quick movement back and forth or up and down

the shakes : a condition in which parts of your body move in a way that you are not able to control

shake

verb
\ ˈshāk \
shook\ˈshu̇k \; shaken\ˈshā-kən \; shaking

Kids Definition of shake

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make or cause to make quick movements back and forth or up and down The ground shook. Squirrels shook the branches.

2 : to tremble or make tremble : quiver She was so frightened her legs began to shake.

3 : to move from side to side I shook my head.

4 : to grasp and move up and down After reaching an agreement, they shook hands.

5 : to get away from She ran faster, but couldn't shake the dog.

6 : to make less firm : weaken After being beaten badly their confidence was shaken.

7 : to cause to be, become, go, or move by or as if by using a quick back and forth motion We can shake apples from the tree.

shake

noun

Kids Definition of shake (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick back and forth or up and down movement

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More from Merriam-Webster on shake

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shake

Spanish Central: Translation of shake

Nglish: Translation of shake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shake for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about shake

Comments on shake

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