\ 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 shakily (audio) \ adverb
shakiness \ ˈshā-​kē-​nəs How to pronounce shakiness (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 Jets opened training camp with Chandler Catanzaro, who retired after struggling in the preseason opener, and then Taylor Bertolet, who was shaky in three games. Dennis Waszak Jr.,, "Jets WR Quincy Enunwa out for season with neck injury," 11 Sep. 2019 The final game before the international break saw him complete his first competitive match for the club, but Atletico looked uncharacteristically shaky at the back, conceding twice before rescuing a 3-2 victory against Eibar., "Atletico Madrid: Rating All of Los Colchoneros' Summer Signings," 7 Sep. 2019 The Tigers’ offensive line was shaky in the first half against Oregon before imposing its will against the Ducks in the second half of Auburn’s 27-21 win. Tom Green |, al, "Tiger Buzz: Auburn vs. Tulane TV info, key matchups and players to watch," 7 Sep. 2019 There is a difference between a shaky or out-of-focus photograph and a snapshot of clouds and fog banks. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Build Schrödinger's Cat on a Quantum Level," 21 Aug. 2019 Marco Gonzales, in line to be the fourth starter in the rotation when the regular season opens next week, overcame a shaky beginning to settle down and give up two runs on five hits in five innings. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Mariners get walk-off win over Rangers as Marco Gonzales overcomes slow start on mound," 22 Mar. 2018 Between this and Chen’s also uncharacteristically shaky performance in the team competition, which the U.S. skaters won bronze despite him, the American favorite’s reputation has taken a beating. Phil Rosenthal,, "NBC's Olympics script wiped out when Mikaela Shiffrin loses and Nathan Chen stumbles," 16 Feb. 2018 And the rookie has been shaky on the road with a 6.39 ERA. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Kyle Freeland heads to injured list with groin strain; Rockies recall reliever Wes Parsons from Triple-A," 22 Aug. 2019 Its control over Hong Kong, where people have access to uncensored news, is much shakier. The Economist, "Chinese troops must stay off the streets of Hong Kong," 8 Aug. 2019

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



Statistics for shaky

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shaky

The first known use of shaky was in 1703

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on shaky

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shaky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shaky

Spanish Central: Translation of shaky

Nglish: Translation of shaky for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shaky for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shaky

What made you want to look up shaky? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


readily or continually undergoing change

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