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

The Prince of Wales didn't appear shaken or stirred while touring the set of the 25th James Bond film at Pinewood Studios in England on Thursday with 007 himself, Daniel Craig. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "Prince Charles bonds with 007 Daniel Craig on James Bond set," 20 June 2019 Merkel clasped her hands in front of her as the German anthem began to play and seemed unable to control her body from shaking. Washington Post, "Germany’s Merkel appears unsteady, shaking at ceremony," 19 June 2019 Dump them into a metal bowl, invert another metal bowl and place it on top, then vigorously shake. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "Humanity’s Eternal Quest for a Better Way of Peeling Garlic," 18 June 2019 Woods shook off his double bogey on the par-3 5th, banging home birdies on the par-5 6th and par-3 7th. The Si Staff, SI.com, "2019 U.S. Open Live Blog: Tracking Tiger, Koepka and Round One Leaders at Pebble," 13 June 2019 Breathless from running, a young man holding a white flannel over his face shakes his head in disbelief at the response of the police. The Economist, "“They chose to come and fight for the freedom of Hong Kong”," 12 June 2019 There, scientists are studying marijuana chemicals for children with autism and adults with a brain disorder that causes uncontrollable shaking. Carla K. Johnson, BostonGlobe.com, "Promise of marijuana leads scientists on search for evidence," 11 June 2019 The crash near Times Square and Trump Tower shook the 750-foot (229-meter) AXA Equitable building, sparked a fire on the roof and forced office workers to flee on elevators and down stairs, witnesses and officials said. Jim Mustian, Twin Cities, "Helicopter crashes on roof of NYC skyscraper; pilot killed," 10 June 2019 The crash near Times Square and Trump Tower shook the 750-foot (229-meter) AXA Equitable building, sparked a fire and forced office workers to flee on elevators and down stairs, witnesses and officials said. Jim Mustian, Anchorage Daily News, "Helicopter crashes on roof of NYC skyscraper; pilot killed," 10 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Reconfigured With Tatis returning and first baseman Eric Hosmer not starting for the first time in 50 games, Green took the opportunity to make his biggest lineup shake-up in a while. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres notes: Naylor makes case to stay in majors; Machado’s ‘bittersweet’ move," 7 June 2019 Fujimoto extended his hand, and the eight-year-old reciprocated with a firm shake. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "‘Great Successor’ book excerpt: Kim Jong Un’s gilded boyhood of chefs, travel and lessons on ruthless rule," 6 June 2019 The upside is the pain of the present is producing some shake-us-out-of-it fashion at houses like Gucci (those masks!), Marni (piercings), and Prada (Frankenstein’s monster). Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "The Top Shows of Milan Fashion Week Fall 2019," 25 Feb. 2019 Playing Battlefield, a tank moving left to right moves in sync with the Nari Ultimate’s haptics, while every explosion or stray bullet thud gets an accompanying, shorter shake. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Razer HyperSense's vision for haptic-filled PC gaming shakes up the future of peripherals," 10 Jan. 2019 What drove the shake-ups was a more forward-looking calculus about where the teams would end up at this time of year, which, not coincidentally, is in the same place. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Clemson, Notre Dame and the Year of the Quarterback Change," 28 Dec. 2018 That’s along with kombucha shakes and fresh massages and stuff like that. Eric Johnson, Recode, "American capitalism broke in the 1980s. Can it be fixed?," 7 Nov. 2018 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

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

26 Jun 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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