\ 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 Even so, the vote represented an early plebiscite, in a part of the country where the BJP has deep roots, on the divisive social policies Mr Modi has adopted in his second term, as well as on his handling of an increasingly shaky economy. The Economist, "Capital loss India’s ruling party receives a drubbing in Delhi," 13 Feb. 2020 No team in the FBS allowed more completions of at least 10 yards (154) than Texas, thanks to some shaky tacking. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "Why Texas DC Chris Ash believes building a ‘playoff-caliber’ D-line is the first step toward improving the Longhorns’ defense," 12 Feb. 2020 His shaky self-confidence appears to be improving, and Collum -- who’s far from a braggart -- has quietly assumed an early lead in this grueling competition. Mary Colurso |, al, "Alabama’s Micah Collum takes the lead on ‘The Biggest Loser’," 12 Feb. 2020 The Dolphins, too, have had a shaky couple of decades. Dave Clark,, "Sun Sentinel's Hyde: Joe Burrow must be rude to Bengals to become Miami Dolphins' QB," 11 Feb. 2020 The firm tapered brush makes for a dexterous application, even with shaky hands. 2. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "The Ultimate Guide to Gorgeous Nails," 10 Feb. 2020 So don’t load up on shaky low-grade debt or long-term bonds that can get whacked if rates rise unexpectedly. WSJ, "Bond Funds Are Hotter Than Tesla," 7 Feb. 2020 Employing shaky phone-shot video, the filmmakers provide harrowing glimpses of the mayhem and chaos, with the sound of gunfire, screams, and people fleeing in every direction. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'In Memoriam' considers the toll of gun violence through the eyes of survivors and family," 6 Feb. 2020 This recognition has come with plenty of responsibility: mentoring young players, anchoring a shaky defense and, on many nights, settling in as the primary ball-handler. Connor Letourneau,, "Draymond Green leads Warriors to skid-snapping win over Cavaliers," 1 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for shaky

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The first known use of shaky was in 1703

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Statistics for shaky

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shaky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for shaky


How to pronounce shaky (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shaky

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shaky

Spanish Central: Translation of shaky

Nglish: Translation of shaky for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shaky for Arabic Speakers

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