1 of 2


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

shake up

2 of 2


shook up; shaken up; shaking up; shakes up

transitive verb

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

Example Sentences

Verb the news that we had failed the auto inspection shook us up
Recent Examples on the Web
Survivor: Marquesas An underrated season that saw the first totem pole shake-up: where people on the bottom got together to overthrow those on the top. Dalton Ross,, 18 May 2023 At least one senior official, responsible for election monitoring, stepped down, as part of what Turkish media outlets reported was a larger shake-up in the management of a once-confident campaign, now suddenly adrift. Kareem Fahim, Washington Post, 17 May 2023 The premium end of the streaming video sector in India is poised for shake-up, with Reliance Industries’ JioCinema challenging the SVOD dominance of Disney+ Hotstar, new research suggests. Patrick Frater, Variety, 17 May 2023 The doctor’s consular appointment reflects the political shake-up in Honduras since Castro, of the left-wing Liberty and Refoundation party, became the nation’s first female president, on Jan. 27, 2022, and changes were announced in the Honduran consular network in the United States. Soudi Jiménez, Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2023 Cager was one of two employees ousted amid the latest staffing shake-up in Scott’s office, which has experienced high turnover in executive-level positions. Emily Opilo, Baltimore Sun, 4 May 2023 But the potential for a shake-up is enormous, and the political stakes are higher in a purple region like Orange County. Laurel Rosenhall, Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2023 In a recent move, the company received shareholder approval for a shake-up to AMC’s share structure, which includes a 10-to-1 reverse stock split and converting preferred APE units into common shares. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 May 2023 Despite the deep links between the two social media apps, users’ search for an alternate social platform could be a direct result of Musk’s shake-up of Twitter. Prarthana Prakash, Fortune, 26 Apr. 2023
Everything grows even more complex when the show's second season shakes up the formula by exploring Nadia's family history via complex time travel mechanics. Wesley Stenzel,, 6 Apr. 2023 There’s reason to move slowly in shaking up its search engine. Chris Morris, Fortune, 6 Apr. 2023 Health scares, legal jeopardy, dramatic encounters on stage, and third-party bids could shake up the race. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 25 Mar. 2023 The Labor Department's inflation report will be center stage Tuesday, after the past week's sudden bank failures jolted markets and shook up expectations about the Federal Reserve's interest rate moves. WSJ, 14 Mar. 2023 Schroeder took on the powerful elite with her rapier wit and antics for 24 years, shaking up stodgy government institutions by forcing them to acknowledge that women had a role in government. Douglass K. Daniel, USA TODAY, 14 Mar. 2023 This is where things get all shook up. Emily St. Martin, Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shake-up.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1847, in the meaning defined above


1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of shake-up was in 1538

Dictionary Entries Near shake-up

Cite this Entry

“Shake-up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: an act or instance of shaking up
especially : a reorganization that has extreme effects
lost their jobs in an office shake-up

shake up

2 of 2 verb
: to jar by or as if by a physical shock
the accident shook up both drivers
the news shook us up
: to bring about an extensive reorganization of

More from Merriam-Webster on shake-up

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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