shim·my | \ˈshi-mē \
plural shimmies

Definition of shimmy 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 [ by alteration ] : chemise

2 [ short for shimmy-shake ] : a jazz dance characterized by a shaking of the body from the shoulders down

3 : an abnormal vibration especially in the front wheels of a motor vehicle


shimmied; shimmying

Definition of shimmy (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to shake, quiver, or tremble in or as if in dancing a shimmy

2 : to vibrate abnormally used especially of automobiles

3 : shinny

Examples of shimmy in a Sentence


They were shimmying on the dance floor. I shimmied into my jacket. One of the car's wheels was shimmying.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And sure enough, within seconds, Olivia somehow hoists herself herself over the crib and shimmies down to the ground. Aurelie Corinthios,, "Quintuplet Parents Struggle to Contain Their 'Little Escape Artist' as She Climbs Out of Crib," 10 July 2018 In the video, which dropped Tuesday morning—just hours after the exuberance of Memorial Day barbecues finally faded into workweek torpor—a visibly pregnant Cardi shimmies down the block, adorned in jewel tones and copious statement jewelry. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Cardi B’s ‘I Like It’ Is the Song of the Summer," 29 May 2018 The point guard reacted with a shimmy as Curry ran by him. Jenna West,, "Watch: Chris Paul Shimmies in Stephen Curry's Face After Hitting a Three," 24 May 2018 Ere long a torch song singer was crooning some Jazz Age hits and the dance floor was crowded with flappers in fringed black shimmy frocks and their tuxedoed swains, giving us full-on Chicago in New York. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Goes Inside Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Moda and Sartoria Events in New York City," 9 Apr. 2018 Sliding on his knees across the grass, Suarez finished up his moment of self-congratulation with an exuberant shimmy, leading some online to bring out comparisons with famously charismatic performer Freddie Mercury. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Uruguayan Soccer Player's Post-Goal Dance Has All the Right Moves," 25 June 2018 The Rockets’ Chris Paul came to life, at one point sinking a ridiculously difficult three-pointer over Curry, then following that up by imitating Steph’s signature shimmy. Al Saracevic, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors in a tough spot: The brink of elimination," 24 May 2018 An isolation three up top over James Harden, with Curry toying with his fellow star before pulling up from long range and giving a trademark shimmy on his way down the floor. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "Steph Curry cooks as Warriors dominate Rockets in Game 3 of Western Conference finals," 20 May 2018 To make matters more sensitive, Madonna shimmies and grooves in a cleavage-baring slip dress with the straps louche-ly sliding off. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "The Story Behind Madonna’s Slip Dress in Her Most Controversial Music Video, “Like a Prayer”," 3 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And here’s where the impossibility of this team comes to bear: On any given night, when Curry is shimmying and shooting and Thompson is his metronomic shooting self, Durant is the team’s third option. Michael Powell, New York Times, "LeBron James Delivered. Now Does He Exit?," 7 June 2018 Chris Paul shimmied in Stephen Curry's face after hitting a big three during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals between the Rockets and Warriors. Jenna West,, "Watch: Chris Paul Shimmies in Stephen Curry's Face After Hitting a Three," 24 May 2018 That trip involved lots of shimmying and scrambling across uneven rock slabs and ledges, plus off-trail maneuvers. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, "The Best Women’s Backpacking Packs," 13 July 2018 After scoring several hit singles and a trio of Grammy noms behind his 2015 debut The Chaos and the Calm, the English singer-songwriter shimmied toward sparkly, amped-up rock 'n' roll on last month's Electric Love. Chris Payne, Billboard, "#AlternativeFacts Podcast: What Drives James Bay's Restless Reinvention," 1 June 2018 Punk rock dancers stuck out their tongues and shimmied with their shoulders without a care, and P!nk raised herself too -- quite literally. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "P!nk Sings 'Just a Girl' With Gwen Stefani & 6 More Highlights From LA Concert," 1 June 2018 The clips, shot by users, range from a dexterous noodle-maker in Chongqing to a shimmying peacock in a bamboo grove, all set to music. The Economist, "A Chinese music-video app is making WeChat sweat," 12 July 2018 But that didn’t stop the boy band from bringing their shoulder-shimmying jam to the 2018 CMT Music Awards. Joe Lynch, Billboard, "Backstreet Boys Deliver 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart' at CMT Music Awards," 6 June 2018 Against the backdrop of some of the Met's most iconic exhibition spaces, partygoers shimmied, strutted, posed, preened, and played in perfect harmony with medieval, Renaissance, classical Greek and Roman paintings and sculptures. Bridget Read, Vogue, "The Met Gala Turned Into a Giant Dance Party, and It's All on Instagram," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shimmy.' 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 shimmy


1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1919, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near shimmy





shimmy shirt



Statistics for shimmy

Last Updated

25 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for shimmy

The first known use of shimmy was in 1837

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More Definitions for shimmy



English Language Learners Definition of shimmy

: to move or shake your body from side to side

: to vibrate or move very quickly from side to side


shim·my | \ˈshi-mē \
shimmied; shimmying

Kids Definition of shimmy

: to move the body from side to side I shimmied into my jacket.

More from Merriam-Webster on shimmy

See words that rhyme with shimmy Encyclopedia article about shimmy

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