shake

verb
\ ˈshāk How to pronounce shake (audio) \
shook\ ˈshu̇k How to pronounce shake (audio) \; shaken\ ˈshā-​kən How to pronounce shake (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 2 sense 3 a fair shake

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Other Words from shake

Verb

shakable or shakeable \ ˈshā-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce shake (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 There are types of events which are likely to shake anyone's bio-psycho-social foundation, things that are intensely shocking and universally fear-producing. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, 10 June 2021 At the time, Gabrielle was in the middle of shooting her show Being Mary Jane while Dwyane was focusing on bringing home a championship for the Miami Heat while trying to shake a nagging knee injury. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, 9 June 2021 Elephants at Amboseli, for example, never dig for minerals because the soil there is salty, and Poole has only once seen an Amboseli elephant shake a tree to knock down seed pods because there are very few trees in the area. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, 9 June 2021 His hands, police said, started to fidget and shake. Sarah Nelson, The Indianapolis Star, 8 June 2021 At the end of the dance, Eilish turned around to shake her butt towards the camera. Kaitlyn Frey, PEOPLE.com, 4 June 2021 Add liquid ingredients and ice, seal and shake hard. Jason O'bryan, Robb Report, 3 June 2021 Geneticists and infectious disease specialists there have uncovered potentially dangerous coronavirus mutations in a 36-year-old woman with uncontrolled HIV who was unable to shake the SARS-CoV-2 virus for close to eight months. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2021 Directions Put all the ingredients into a small jar with a lid and shake vigorously until completely blended. Cilantro-Lime Dipping Sauce Makes 1/2 cup. Star Tribune, 2 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun South Korea is on the brink of the biggest online shake-up since eBay announced its arrival over two decades ago. Mark Faithfull, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Matt Schottlander, the former CEO in Paramus who was fired during the October shake-up, was the only top manager at the agency’s nursing homes to forgo the payments, the payroll records show. Christopher Weaver, WSJ, 6 June 2021 The disaster that was the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses has quite clearly opened the door far wider than in recent memory for a shake-up in the calendar. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 1 June 2021 ByteDance's previous big organizational shake-up occurred last year, when Zhang appointed Zhang Lidong as chairman at ByteDance's China business, and Kelly Zhang as CEO. NBC News, 20 May 2021 The settlement comes a month after a management shake-up. Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2021 Anyone close to Stennis Space Center on Saturday may feel the ground shake and hear the roar of rocket engines for as long as 8 minutes. Mary Perez And Lauren Walck | The Sun Herald, NOLA.com, 15 Jan. 2021 Those mistakes don’t seem to be fresh enough in investors’ minds to prompt a shake-up today, though. Jinjoo Lee, WSJ, 18 May 2021 The scouting department needs a boost and potential shake-up. BostonGlobe.com, 15 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for shake

Time Traveler

The first known use of shake was before the 12th century

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Statistics for shake

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shake. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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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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