\ 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 Back on March 12, 1974, a history of shaky leadership and finances caught up with the orchestra. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "How Philip Jonsson helped save the Dallas Symphony in 1974 — and why it’s important in 2020," 21 May 2020 His 2011 season helped the Packers go 15-1 in the regular season despite a shaky defense. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: The Packers win Super Bowl XLV," 21 May 2020 Nevertheless, European consumer behavior remains uncertain because of shaky investor confidence and concerns that restrictions could be tightened again in the event of a second wave of infections. Oliver Sachgau,, "European Lockdowns Knock Car Sales Into Record Monthly Drop," 20 May 2020 The case relied on a mistaken witness identification and shaky jailhouse informant testimony, according to the National Registry of Exonerations. Erin Donaghue, CBS News, "Missouri prosecutors' unit that tried inmate scheduled to die is linked to wrongful convictions, Innocence Project says," 19 May 2020 But even those flights have been reduced, making the adult bears' favored food supply shaky. Dennis Romero, NBC News, "Canada zoo to return pandas to China," 16 May 2020 Before tipoff, Aldridge was hounded by questions about his shaky playoff past. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Trail Blazers Classics: LaMarcus Aldridge’s record-setting night lifts Portland over Houston Rockets in Game 1 of playoffs," 12 May 2020 And Russia's Vladimir Putin may be a grandmaster in geopolitical chess, but his domestic crisis management was again exposed as shaky. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "What a country's pandemic response reveals," 7 May 2020 The announcement of Brennan's successor comes at a tumultuous period for the Postal Service, whose already shaky financial footing has grown weaker during the coronavirus pandemic. Author: Josh Dawsey, Lisa Rein, Jacob Bogage, Anchorage Daily News, "Top Republican fundraiser and Trump ally named postmaster general," 7 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for shaky

Time Traveler

The first known use of shaky was in 1703

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Statistics for shaky

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shaky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for shaky


How to pronounce shaky (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shaky

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shaky

Spanish Central: Translation of shaky

Nglish: Translation of shaky for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shaky for Arabic Speakers

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