shake

verb
\ ˈshāk How to pronounce shake (audio) \
shook\ ˈshu̇k How to pronounce shook (audio) \; shaken\ ˈshā-​kən How to pronounce shaken (audio) \; 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

3 shakes plural

a : a condition of trembling or nervousness specifically : delirium tremens
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 How to pronounce shakeable (audio) \ 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

Move over, Color Of The Year—Yankee Candle is shaking things up by releasing their first-ever Scent Of The Year for 2019, announcing it January 15 at a launch event in New York City. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Yankee Candle's First-Ever Scent Of The Year Is Here, And It’s So Refreshing," 16 Jan. 2019 Greg Orman, who is running as an independent for Kansas governor, stopped to shake hands and was lagging far behind the bulk of his group of volunteers and campaign workers when he was caught on the wrong side of the tracks. The Kansas City Star, kansascity, "Train through July 4 parade separates this Kansas candidate from his delegation," 5 July 2018 Ground-shaking roars for Tiger Woods along the back nine. Doug Ferguson, The Seattle Times, "Molinari builds 2-shot lead over Woods, Finau in Masters," 14 Apr. 2019 Over the past six months, a less ground-shaking development also helped prepare the teams on the ground for that moment. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "How Alaska fixed its earthquake-shattered roads in just days," 8 Dec. 2018 Take out your shaking tins, and add all the liquid ingredients to the larger one. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "The Best Drink to Make After a Breakup (and Other Purposeful Cocktails)," 22 Oct. 2018 There were plenty of core-shaking storylines to unpack on last night's episode of This Is Us. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'This Is Us' Fans Are Furious at Miguel (Even Though He Wasn't Even in Episode 3)," 10 Oct. 2018 The shaking toppled motorcycles and damaged buildings in Lombok's Sembalun subdistrict, including a community hall that collapsed. Rosidin Sembahulun, Fox News, "Big quakes trigger landslides on Indonesia's Lombok island," 19 Aug. 2018 As the euphoria over the earth-shaking news has gradually subsided over the last week and a half, a vital question has emerged from the background and come into greater focus. Dylan Hernandez, latimes.com, "On the Lakers’ road back to greatness with LeBron, the hardest steps may still lie ahead," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The 2019 Tony Award nominations are here, and there were, as always, a few surprises, shake-ups, and snubs. Vogue, "Here Are the 2019 Tony Award Nominations," 30 Apr. 2019 Officers searched the car and found a marijuana grinder, three marijuana pipes and marijuana shake. Bob Sandrick, cleveland.com, "Berea man cites tough times as reason for extortion attempt; police look for man making Facebook threats: Berea police blotter," 1 Mar. 2018 Smith said with a smile and a shake of his dreadlocked head. Dave Skretta, The Seattle Times, "Chiefs’ pinning draft hopes on game-changing speed," 6 Aug. 2018 Asked what’s gone wrong, Duffy offered a shake of the head and another verbal flogging of his recent performance. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Danny Duffy falters again as Royals lose to Yankees | The Kansas City Star," 19 May 2018 And what’s more perfectly imperfect than a slapdash shake of sprinkles? Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Christina Tosi Infuses Her Baking, and the Rest of Her World, with Color," 29 Mar. 2018 An employee of a business in the 1700 block of Milwaukee Avenue told police June 19 that a customer was handed a shake at the drive thru and drove away without paying. Alexandra Kukulka, chicagotribune.com, "Police: $10,000 in mature vines cut off business' pergola," 29 June 2018 There's also a special red-white-and-blue shake made with strawbrrry custard and blue Pop Rocks. Bud Kennedy, star-telegram, "More than chicken-and-waffles at new TCU-area restaurant," 18 June 2018 Can Ruckert, a pass catching threat and five-star prospect unlike anyone Ohio State has had at the position under Meyer, come in a shake things up even more? cleveland.com, "Ohio State football offensive depth chart projection: Post-spring 2018," 24 Apr. 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

15 May 2019

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

shake

verb
\ ˈshāk How to pronounce shake (audio) \
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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