\ ˈshāk-ˌəp How to pronounce shake-up (audio) \

Definition of shake-up

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an act or instance of shaking up specifically : an extensive and often drastic reorganization

shake up

shook up; shaken up; shaking up; shakes up

Definition of shake up (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 obsolete : chide, scold
2 : to jar by or as if by a physical shock the collision shook up both drivers
3 : to effect an extensive and often drastic reorganization of

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Synonyms for shake-up

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of shake-up in a Sentence

Verb the news that we had failed the auto inspection shook us up

First Known Use of shake-up


1847, in the meaning defined above


1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for shake-up

Time Traveler

The first known use of shake-up was in 1538

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Statistics for shake-up

Cite this Entry

“Shake-up.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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How to pronounce shake up (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shake-up

: an important change or series of changes in the way a company or other organization is organized or run

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More from Merriam-Webster on shake-up

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shake-up

Spanish Central: Translation of shake-up

Nglish: Translation of shake-up for Spanish Speakers

Comments on shake-up

What made you want to look up shake-up? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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