\ ˈshā-kē How to pronounce shaky (audio) \
shakier; shakiest

Definition of shaky

1 : characterized by shakes shaky timber
2a : lacking stability : precarious a shaky economy performed well after a shaky start
b : lacking in firmness (as of beliefs or principles)
c : lacking in authority or reliability : questionable shaky experimental procedures shaky data
3a : somewhat unsound in health
b : characterized by shaking
4 : likely to give way or break down

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Other Words from shaky

shakily \ ˈshā-​kə-​lē How to pronounce shaky (audio) \ adverb
shakiness \ ˈshā-​kē-​nəs How to pronounce shaky (audio) \ noun

Examples of shaky in a Sentence

She took a few shaky steps before she collapsed. Her commitment to the cause seems shaky. Their marriage is on shaky ground. The team has performed better lately after getting off to a shaky start.
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Recent Examples on the Web The transition from in-person to virtual was shaky at first and had its drawbacks. Karen Pearlman, Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 July 2021 But Rogers has otherwise been a consistent presence this season on an often shaky Twins bullpen. Phil Miller, Star Tribune, 12 July 2021 The Biden administration’s defense of its final troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is predicated on claims and assumptions that many say are shaky at best. Tracy Wilkinson Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 8 July 2021 Shame aside, the Astros have faced a litany of other baseball issues this year, including injuries to Justin Verlander, Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez, all while Baker tries to manage a shaky bullpen with nine rookies in it. David Waldstein, New York Times, 18 Aug. 2020 As the pandemic recedes in the US, box office returns have been shaky. Brian Stelter, CNN, 7 July 2021 Nicolas Lebourg, a political scientist, said Ms. Le Pen, who is running for president for the third time, has struggled to bounce back from her shaky performance in 2017. New York Times, 16 May 2021 Lovullo turned things over to Bukauskas, the hard-throwing right-hander with monster stuff who had yet to have a shaky performance since moving into a relief role at the start of spring training. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 28 Apr. 2021 This shaky performance also involved Kershaw’s fielding, when the Dodgers gave up two runs in the third inning with two uncharacteristic plays. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2021

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

1703, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries Near shaky



shalach monos

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Statistics for shaky

Last Updated

29 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shaky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for shaky



English Language Learners Definition of shaky

: not strong or steady in movement, sound, etc. : tending to shake because of weakness, strong emotion, etc.
: weak and likely to break down, collapse, or fail
: not impressive or effective


\ ˈshā-kē How to pronounce shaky (audio) \
shakier; shakiest

Kids Definition of shaky

1 : characterized by quivering : not firm a shaky hand a shaky voice
2 : likely to fail or be insufficient : unsound shaky arguments

Other Words from shaky

shakily \ -​kə-​lē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on shaky

Nglish: Translation of shaky for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shaky for Arabic Speakers


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