shake

verb
\ ˈshāk How to pronounce shake (audio) \
shook\ ˈshu̇k How to pronounce shake (audio) \; shaken\ ˈshā-​kən How to pronounce shake (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 2 sense 3 a fair shake

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Other Words from shake

Verb

shakable or shakeable \ ˈshā-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce shake (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 Always shake the bottle before spraying to make sure the oil is mixed with the water. oregonlive, 24 July 2021 Once the deal is done, Jerry Jones and Switzer shake hands and hug. Joey Hayden, Dallas News, 21 July 2021 How might that shake his faith in her and their relationship? Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 20 July 2021 All that time, Esteban could never shake off a nagging feeling that always brought him back to his culture. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 July 2021 Dip each chicken breast in flour until coated, shake off excess. Joan Elovitz Kazan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 July 2021 Matthew Mulé was able to shake off the rust after missing five weeks of the season to win the 2A state championship in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:11.31. Gary Curreri, sun-sentinel.com, 19 June 2021 The Bengals took some time to shake off the rust, with penalties and fumbles keeping them from finding much traction. Andrew Wyder, chicagotribune.com, 3 Apr. 2021 Michigan only needed 20 minutes or so to shake off the rust from a three-week layoff. Steve Megargee, ajc, 14 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun More than 130 countries have backed a framework of the global agreement, which would be the largest shake-up of the international tax system in decades, but important holdouts like Ireland as well as Hungary and Estonia remain. New York Times, 13 July 2021 The search to fill the vacant positions are part of a larger shake-up of Credit Suisse’s management team. Dylan Tokar, WSJ, 12 July 2021 But the 1980s and early 90s saw a languishing economy, resulting, in 1995, in a shake-up of the country's leadership. Whitney Robinson, Travel + Leisure, 11 July 2021 McMahon rejoined the network two months ago as part of the larger shake-up. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, 7 July 2021 But many experts say a shake-up of this magnitude will present major mail disruptions, and could mean higher costs for consumers. Author: Jacob Bogage, Kevin Schaul, Anchorage Daily News, 27 June 2021 When News 13 in Asheville reported on the department shake-up back in October 2020, the police union said a number of officers simply took jobs in departments outside of Asheville. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, 30 June 2021 The symphonic shake-up puts the most aerosol-emitting instruments closest to ventilation systems and open doors. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 June 2021 But many experts say a shake-up of this magnitude will present major mail disruptions, and could mean higher costs for consumers. Author: Jacob Bogage, Kevin Schaul, Anchorage Daily News, 27 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for shake

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near shake

Shakalsha

shake

shake-bag

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Statistics for shake

Last Updated

30 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shake. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on shake

Nglish: Translation of shake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shake for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about shake

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