shake

verb
\ ˈshāk How to pronounce shake (audio) \
shook\ ˈshu̇k How to pronounce shook (audio) \; shaken\ ˈshā-​kən How to pronounce shaken (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 shakeable (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

Things really haven't gone great any of the past three weeks, but the players have been able to shake off missteps and bad calls and overcome adversity. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "ASU football: What we learned from Sun Devils' upset at Michigan State," 15 Sep. 2019 Asprilla was slow to leave the field and refused to shake Savarese’s hand after being subbed out in the 70th minute of a game against Sporting Kansas City last week. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Portland Timbers concede own goal in 1-0 loss to D.C. United," 15 Sep. 2019 The Native American woman whose doctor, attempting to deliver her placenta, pulled so hard on her umbilical cord his body began to shake. BostonGlobe.com, "a new survey of 2,700 US women published in June," 14 Sep. 2019 My wife, Rachael, started to shake, tears coming down her cheeks. Ady Barkan, Time, "How My Dying Body Could Help Give Yours a Future," 9 Sep. 2019 In his senior soccer season, RHS again turned it on late by winning its final five regular-season contests to shake free from a .500 record to finish 8-3-2 and qualify for the Class ‘A’ state tournament. courant.com, "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 6 Sep. 2019 Figures from Vote Leave, the main campaigning group behind the Brexit vote, call the shots in Downing Street, causing long-serving Tory MPs to shake their jowls at the state of affairs. The Economist, "How Britain’s staid Conservative Party became a radical insurgency," 5 Sep. 2019 But the Irish could shake things up and break into the mix this week. George Schroeder, USA TODAY, "Football Four Playoff Projection: Clemson, LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma plus Georgia, Ohio State," 15 Sep. 2019 The hometown South Carolina Gamecocks hope to shake things up in the SEC and greater college football landscape. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Alabama football fans: Things to do in Columbia if you’re catching the South Carolina game," 13 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The home is 60 years old and has a wood shake and red-brick facade. Boston.com Real Estate, "Ask the Carpenter: Getting mold off cedar shingles, paint off brick," 18 July 2019 Good Burger opens July 10 in West Hollywood with a menu of burgers and shakes from Alvin Cailan of Eggslut. Hadley Tomicki, latimes.com, "Sichuan hot pot restaurant Mala Town comes to Sawtelle; Filipino lunch counter opens downtown," 9 July 2019 In addition to the classics, the stand sells protein shakes and diet versions of flavors like cherry and egg custard. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "10 Baltimore area snowball stands worth your time," 26 June 2019 The stand, which replaces the Bartolotta group's Northpoint Custard, has burgers, hot dogs, brats, wings, frozen custard and shakes, and items like hummus and chips and walking tacos, the snack that adds taco toppings to a bag of Doritos. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Dock at Bradford Beach opens Friday, joining MooSa's burgers and custard," 20 June 2019 On the way back to Arlington, Tom and Tracy stopped at Health Camp in Waco, a local institution serving malts, shakes and burgers. Gary Jacobson, Dallas News, "BBQ Posse journeys into heart of Texas to find perfect plate," 17 June 2019 Johnny Rockets has closed its location in the Summit Johnny Rockets, the restaurant chain specializing in burgers and shakes in a 50s style diner interior, has closed its location in the Summit, according to the Birmingham Business Journal. al, "1st and 23, Johnny Rockets in Birmingham are now closed," 9 Sep. 2019 Convenient options are the Barona Coffee Company for pastries, fresh cinnamon buns, sandwiches and salads, the Soup Stand for six varieties of eat-in or take-out soup and the Creamery, serving premium ice cream, soft serve, shakes and sundaes. San Diego Union-Tribune, "What you need to know about the 10 San Diego-area casinos," 8 Sep. 2019 Despite an offseason of bulking up and bench-pressing, protein shakes and personal-bests on the squat rack, USF still bore a striking resemblance to its feeble 2018 predecessor Friday night. Joey Knight, orlandosentinel.com, "Wisconsin clobbers USF, hands Bulls worst loss in school history," 31 Aug. 2019

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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Learn More about shake

Dictionary Entries near shake

shaitan

Shaiva

Shakalsha

shake

shake-bag

shake-bolt

shake-cabin

Statistics for shake

Last Updated

2 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shake

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on shake

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shake

Spanish Central: Translation of shake

Nglish: Translation of shake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shake for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about shake

Comments on shake

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