\ˈshā-kē \
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 \ adverb
shakiness \ˈshā-​kē-​nəs \ 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

Why marijuana bump science is so shaky There are a few reasons why the research base on marijuana in pregnancy is so limited and inconclusive. Julia Belluz, Vox, "More pregnant women are using marijuana. We don’t know if that’s safe.," 20 Nov. 2018 The Willard felt secure and not shaky as the footing got loose and handled the big rocks that showed up later with aplomb. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "PM Approved: The Raleigh Willard 4 Gravel Bike," 21 Sep. 2018 But as China’s housing market—a major investment for Chinese—starts to feel a little shaky recently, the real test is ahead. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "The Brewing Fight Over the Yuan," 15 Oct. 2018 Pavard began his tournament with a very shaky performance against Australia; Laxalt didn't even start until Uruguay's third group game., "Messi vs Ronaldo: The Myth of the One-Man Team & the Overwhelming Importance of Trust," 2 July 2018 Kawashima’s making up for his shaky performances earlier in the tournament. Victor Mather, New York Times, "Japan Advances in World Cup 2018 Despite Losing to Poland," 29 June 2018 The latest steps by the U.S. and China pressured global stocks while driving up demand for U.S. Treasurys, which tend to do well when investors feel shaky about the economic outlook. Akane Otani, WSJ, "U.S. Government Bonds Strengthen on Trade Fears," 11 July 2018 His third cause, a commitment to improving the lives of African-Americans without resorting to violence, seemed equally shaky in 1968. The Economist, "A different dream," 5 July 2018 Though the president signed an executive order to keep families together (to keep them indefinitely detained) last week, plans to reunite the 2,000-some children already separated from their parents seem shaky at best. Jen Gann, The Cut, "How to Be a Parent in America," 28 June 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

8 Dec 2018

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 \
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

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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