shakedown

noun
shake·down | \ ˈshāk-ˌdau̇n \

Definition of shakedown 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an improvised bed (such as one made up on the floor)

2 : a boisterous dance

3 : an act or instance of shaking someone down especially : extortion

4 : a thorough search

5 : a process or period of adjustment

6 : a testing under operating conditions of something new (such as a ship) for possible faults and defects and for familiarizing the operators with it

shake down

verb

Definition of shake down (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to take up temporary quarters

b : to occupy an improvised or makeshift bed

2a : to become accustomed especially to new surroundings or duties

b : to settle down

transitive verb

1 : to obtain money from in a deceitful, contemptible, or illegal manner racketeers shaking down store owners for protection

2 : to make a thorough search of

3 : to bring about a reduction of

4 : to give a shakedown test to shook down the vessel before its maiden voyage

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Examples of shakedown in a Sentence

Noun

He was the victim of a shakedown by a street gang. The guards conducted a shakedown of the prisoners' cells to look for weapons. They're putting the system through a shakedown.

Verb

the rumor is that he started his career shaking people down as an enforcer for the mob
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The law has been credited with reducing cancer-causing chemicals, but it has been criticized for leading to quick settlement shakedowns and vague warnings that are often ignored. Washington Post, "California moves to clear coffee of cancer-risk stigma," 17 June 2018 The law has been credited with reducing cancer-causing chemicals, but it has been criticized for leading to quick settlement shakedowns and vague warnings that are often ignored. Brian Melley, BostonGlobe.com, "California moves to clear coffee of cancer-risk stigma," 16 June 2018 Paul Warren, Sarah's father, denied Puliafito's shakedown allegations to The Times last week. Adam Elmahrek, latimes.com, "Amid new questions, former USC medical school dean fights to keep his license," 9 June 2018 Accounts of bullying for Birds and territorialism over Limes are showing up across the internet, complete with reports of break-ins and shakedowns. Anna-sofia Lesiv, The Seattle Times, "The cutthroat turf war behind the race to charge Bay Area electric scooters," 10 July 2018 The law has been credited with reducing cancer-causing chemicals, but it has been criticized for leading to quick settlement shakedowns and vague warnings that are often ignored. Brian Melley, BostonGlobe.com, "California moves to clear coffee of cancer-risk stigma," 16 June 2018 The law has been credited with reducing cancer-causing chemicals, but it has been criticized for leading to quick settlement shakedowns and vague warnings that are often ignored. Brian Melley, BostonGlobe.com, "California moves to clear coffee of cancer-risk stigma," 16 June 2018 The law has been credited with reducing cancer-causing chemicals, but it has been criticized for leading to quick settlement shakedowns and vague warnings that are often ignored. CBS News, "California officials move to reject court ruling on coffee and cancer risk," 15 June 2018 Blagojevich was convicted in 2011 on 17 counts related to the attempted Senate seat sale and the fundraising shakedowns of a children’s hospital executive and a racetrack owner. Jason Meisner, chicagotribune.com, "Ex-Gov. Blagojevich's lawyers file for clemency days after Trump raises hopes," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Vila Kennedy resident Pierre Lopes de Juno, 38, said he was shaken down by a police patrol one night this month. Anthony Faiola And Marina Lopes, Washington Post, "Stop and search? This poor community in Rio says yes, please.," 25 Mar. 2018 The couple’s recent headline-grabbing cases include successfully defending an ICE agent accused of trying to shake down a drug organization, and representing a woman accused of submitting false claims to Medicare and Medicaid. Annie Linskey, BostonGlobe.com, "Why Trump has struggled to assemble a legal team," 21 Apr. 2018 On two occasions, Henríquez said, Cindy had been robbed by gang members who boarded her bus and shook down the passengers. Joshua Partlow, Washington Post, "The story behind the girl in the recording who begs for her aunt after being separated from her migrant mother," 21 June 2018 Corruption Corruption has long been endemic in Mexico, with reports of local police shaking down civilians or politicians accepting bribes a near-daily occurrence. Ciara Nugent, Time, "Your Complete Guide to Mexico's 2018 Elections," 29 June 2018 But the real conspiracy may be between plaintiff lawyers and Democratic politicians who have ganged up to shake down oil companies. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Climate-Change Tort Racket," 8 June 2018 He was accused of shaking down Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber, the pair known for finding and selling homes to wealthy clients in South Florida. David Ovalle, miamiherald, "Realtor guilty of extorting 'The Jills,' his rivals in Miami Beach's home sales market," 22 June 2018 However, in the midst of the USA Gymnastic shake down the USOC acknowledged the NGB could be decertified and overtaken by the head organization. Rachel Axon, USA TODAY, "Athletes critical of USOC, sports federations in failing to prevent, stop sexual abuse," 18 Apr. 2018 Just about every route is more than a thousand miles long and is canvassed by robbers and corrupt police who shake down the immigrants, who have little access to legal recourse. Alex Horton, Washington Post, "Why U.S.-bound ‘caravans’ of Central American migrants are getting Trump’s attention," 1 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shakedown.' 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 shakedown

Noun

circa 1730, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1859, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

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Statistics for shakedown

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shakedown

The first known use of shakedown was circa 1730

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More Definitions for shakedown

shakedown

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shakedown

: the act of taking something (such as money) from someone by using threats or deception

: a thorough search of something

: a thorough test of a new ship, airplane, etc., in order to make sure there are no problems or defects

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