\ 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 goal is for Treinen to regain his confidence and stuff, but Treinen still looked shaky. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "A’s clobber White Sox with 7-run first inning," 13 July 2019 Yes, the global economy is looking a bit shaky, there are legitimate concerns on U.S. trade tensions with China and inflation is still running below the 2% the Fed is aiming for. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "To Hit Its Targets, Fed May Light a Fire Under Stock Prices," 10 July 2019 The survival of Huawei, in its current form at least, has looked shaky in recent weeks. The Economist, "Donald Trump eases off Huawei as firms discover holes in his export ban," 4 July 2019 Portland looked shaky on defense throughout the first half as Timbers center back Claude Dielna, one of the few veterans in Portland’s lineup, struggled to contain Okwonkwo. Jamie Goldberg,, "Portland Timbers fall 2-1 to Montreal Impact with heavily-rotated lineup," 26 June 2019 Trailing 4-2 much of the game, the Yankees’ potent offense took the lead with nine runs in the seventh inning against a shaky Red Sox bullpen that has converted only 17 of 34 save chances this season. James Wagner, New York Times, "Yankees Leave London With ‘Eye-Opening’ Wins Over Red Sox," 30 June 2019 On Monday, Milan-Cortina in northern Italy beat Stockholm-Are, which tied Sweden to Latvia's bobsled track, in a campaign where support from national and city governments was often shaky. Graham Dunbar,, "IOC to change process of Olympic bid races, host elections," 26 June 2019 But the police case against Golunov appeared shaky. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Detained Russian journalist suffered injuries, doctor says; lawyers say he was beaten," 8 June 2019 Louisville, to its credit, never let up and allowed that to happen — in turn gaining its own confidence that had been a bit shaky in recent weeks. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "3 takeaways from Louisville baseball's dream NCAA Super Regional," 8 June 2019

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

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shaky

The first known use of shaky was in 1703

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More Definitions for shaky



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

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something desired as essential

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