Synonyms & Antonyms of shake

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to make a series of small irregular or violent movements
  • the bus rattled and shook as it barreled down a rutted road

Synonyms for shake

Words Related to shake

2 to get or keep away from (as a responsibility) through cleverness or trickery
  • we shook our pursuers by cutting through the abandoned lot

Synonyms for shake

Words Related to shake

Phrases Synonymous with shake

Near Antonyms for shake



Synonyms & Antonyms of shake (Entry 2 of 2)

1 a very small space of time
  • I'll be there in two shakes

Synonyms for shake

Words Related to shake

Near Antonyms for shake

2 shakes plural a sense of panic or extreme nervousness
  • I get the shakes every time I hear her voice

Synonyms for shake

Words Related to shake

Near Antonyms for shake

3 a shaking of the earth
  • the shake was a modest 3.1 on the Richter scale

Synonyms for shake

Words Related to shake

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About shake

How is the word shake different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of shake are agitate, convulse, and rock. While all these words mean "to move up and down or to and fro with some violence," shake often carries a further implication of a particular purpose.

shake well before using

When could agitate be used to replace shake?

The words agitate and shake can be used in similar contexts, but agitate suggests a violent and prolonged tossing or stirring.

an ocean agitated by storms

When can convulse be used instead of shake?

The words convulse and shake are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, convulse suggests a violent pulling or wrenching as of a body in a paroxysm.

spectators were convulsed with laughter

When might rock be a better fit than shake?

In some situations, the words rock and shake are roughly equivalent. However, rock suggests a swinging or swaying motion resulting from violent impact or upheaval.

the whole city was rocked by the explosion

Learn More About shake

Time Traveler for shake

Time Traveler

The first known use of shake was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near shake



shake a leg

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Shake.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on shake

Nglish: Translation of shake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shake for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about shake


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!