shim·​my | \ ˈshi-mē How to pronounce shimmy (audio) \
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

Verb They were shimmying on the dance floor. I shimmied into my jacket. One of the car's wheels was shimmying.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After the shot went in, Stephenson turned to the crowd and did his signature shoulder shimmy in celebration. James Boyd, The Indianapolis Star, 6 Apr. 2022 The superfan and his musical favorite got to hold hands and shimmy on stage. Nick Romano,, 4 Mar. 2022 Then jerk the lure with a sweep of the rod tip, or use a pop-pop-popping motion to put the shimmy and shake in a jerk bait. Flip Putthoff, Arkansas Online, 22 Feb. 2022 Jaylen Clark allowed himself a moment in the final minute, pumping his right arm and unleashing a shimmy of elation. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2022 Indeed, Mars served up another episode of sample-collecting shenanigans when pebbles recently wedged themselves into the rover’s sample-caching hardware and Perseverance had to do a bit of a shimmy to shake them loose. Nadia Drake, Scientific American, 17 Feb. 2022 If one of those bad things does happen and it can’t be fixed, even with the perfect shimmy, years of work could be undone in an instant. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 25 Dec. 2021 One shimmy of a sudden line suddenly strikes through it all. Vona Groarke, The New York Review of Books, 8 Oct. 2020 One shimmy of a sudden line suddenly strikes through it all. Vona Groarke, The New York Review of Books, 8 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver allowed James to shimmy into the 21st century, but that was a movie about a guy and a car that stuck her girlfriend character in the back seat. Amy Nicholson, Rolling Stone, 9 Feb. 2022 Maybe not in acceleration, stopping, or lateral acceleration, but the Mach-E GT feels substantial, and its cabin is more isolated from the road imperfections that shimmy through the Y. K.c. Colwell, Car and Driver, 28 Dec. 2021 From classic iterations of the Hervé bandage dress to versions that have been reimagined with modern, sheer elements and asymmetrical necklines, shop the best of these dresses and shimmy into one just in time for your upcoming holiday soirées. Rachel Besser, Vogue, 14 Dec. 2021 The Jimmy tool from our friends at iFixit has a thin strip of steel on the tip that can be used to wedge, pry, or shimmy open just about anything. Michael Calore, Wired, 18 Nov. 2021 If the Vikings win Sunday and Washington wins Monday, the those positions could shimmy up to ninth and 12th. Steve Svekis,, 28 Nov. 2021 Some species will sashay and shimmy and shriek; others are more muted, satisfied to simply bow and nod, and click and clack their beaks together. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 23 Nov. 2021 Tariek says okay, so the three PETA people — Jes, Chris and Nachminovitch — straining, grunting, lift the pen, which is ungainly and has to weigh 200 pounds or more, and shimmy it about 20 feet away. Gene Weingarten, Washington Post, 8 Nov. 2021 But the group would have to shimmy down a very steep path with poor visibility to reach the river, then take a boat to get there. Kate Springer, CNN, 21 Oct. 2021 See More

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

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Last Updated

17 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Shimmy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for shimmy


shim·​my | \ ˈshi-mē How to pronounce shimmy (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shimmy Encyclopedia article about shimmy


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