\ 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 combined record, if your mental math is shaky, is 9-27-1. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Five things to know about the Seahawks’ next opponent, the Los Angeles Chargers," 29 Oct. 2018 The Phillies’ bullpen has been shaky and is shorthanded, with Pat Neshek, Luis Garcia, and Edubray Ramos on the disabled list. Matt Breen,, "Hector Neris returns to Phillies' bullpen with confident splitter," 26 June 2018 Home prices in 2018 grew at their slowest pace in four years, while construction slumped, signaling that the housing market started this year on shaky footing. Sarah Chaney, WSJ, "Slowing Home Price Growth and Construction Hit Housing Market," 26 Feb. 2019 The performance suggests that trade jitters, which have stalked a shaky stock market all year, won’t easily overwhelm a focus on solid economic fundamentals. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Stock market shrugs off Trump's trade war," 10 July 2018 Pirates starting pitcher Cody Demayo overcame a shaky two-run first inning and shut down the Angels the rest of the way during his four innings. Emmett Hall,, "Pirates seize the gold in Fort Lauderdale Little League Major Division," 24 June 2018 Castillo will try and turn things around after a shaky start in his season debut. Adam Baum,, "Cincinnati Reds offense stalls in loss to Pittsburgh Pirates," 5 Apr. 2018 And while things got off to a shaky start, the developer has steadily improved its competitive gaming offerings over the course of several tournaments. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Fortnite’s $1 million winter tournament is open to everyone," 20 Nov. 2018 After a shaky start, Mr. Akhundzada has managed to establish his leadership by allowing other key leaders and groupings greater say. Saeed Shah, WSJ, "U.S. Faces Newly Muscular Taliban in Peace-Talk Efforts," 5 Nov. 2018

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

17 Mar 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).


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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