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

Examples of shake-up in a Sentence

Verb the news that we had failed the auto inspection shook us up
Recent Examples on the Web
The independent monitor overseeing the union announced in June that Fain and Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock were under investigation following a shake-up within the leadership. Adrienne Roberts, Detroit Free Press, 11 July 2024 Meanwhile, Sergei Shoigu was replaced as defense minister after holding the position for 12 years, in a surprise shake-up of the department. David Faris, Newsweek, 10 July 2024
German politics were shaken up by the strong performance of the far-right Alternative for Germany in the EU election, although Chancellor Olaf Scholz did not seek to change the national election calendar as a result. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2024 For now, the initial post-debate poll movement hasn't notably shaken up 538's presidential election forecast, which still shows a coin-flip race between Biden and Trump. Geoffrey Skelley, ABC News, 2 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for shake-up 

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 22 Jul. 2024.

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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