Share this entry

Share this page

shake

Synonyms of shake in English:

verb

  • 1 the whole building seemed to shake
  • 2 I was shaking with fear
  • 3 she stood in the hall and shook her umbrella I shook the sauce bottle
    jiggle, joggle, wave from side to side;
    agitate
    informal waggle
  • 4 he shook his stick at the old man
  • 5 it was the crazed look in his eyes that really shook her
    [Antonyms] soothe, reassure
  • 6 the escalation in costs is certain to shake the confidence of private investors
    weaken, undermine, damage, impair, harm, hurt, injure, have a bad effect on;
    reduce, diminish, decrease, lessen
    [Antonyms] strengthen
  • Phrases

    shake a leg

    1
    informal
    hurry up, get a move on, be quick, speed up
    North American informal get a wiggle on
    South African informal put foot
    dated make haste

    shake someone off

    2
    Manville thought he had shaken off his pursuer
    get away from, escape, elude, give someone the slip, leave behind, throw off, throw off the scent, dodge, lose, get rid of, rid oneself of;
    outdistance, outstrip
    British informal get shot of

    shake something off

    3
    he has shaken off his back trouble Simon has finally shaken off her pernicious influence
    recover from, get over, get better after;
    get rid of, free oneself from, lose
    British informal get shot of, see the back of
    North American informal shuck off

    shake someone/something up

    4
  • 1 the accident really shook him up See sense 5 of the verb
  • 2 he presented plans to shake up the legal profession
    reorganize, restructure, revolutionize, alter dramatically, make far-reaching changes in, transform, reform, overhaul, update;
    reshuffle
  • 3 I hired you because I thought you might shake the place up a bit
    put some life into, enliven, put some spark into, liven up, stir up, rouse, get going
  • noun

    Back to top  
  • 1 she removed his wet coat and gave it a shake
  • 2 a shake of his thick forefinger
  • 3 (the shakes) I had a bad case of the shakes I wouldn't go in there, it gives me the shakes
    a fit of trembling, delirium tremens, tremors;
    the horrors
    informal the DTs, the jitters, the willies, the heebie-jeebies, the jim-jams, the jumps, the yips
    Australian rhyming slang Joe Blakes
  • 4 informal police switchboards were flooded with requests for information on the shake
    informal quake
    North American informal tremblor
  • Phrases

    in two shakes (of a lamb's tail)

    1
    informal I'll be back in two shakes
    in a moment, in a second, in a flash, in a minute, shortly, any minute, any minute now, in a short time, (very) soon, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, in (less than) no time, in no time at all, before you know it, before long;
    North American momentarily
    British informal in a tick, in two ticks, in a mo
    North American informal in a snap

    no great shakes

    2
    informal it's no great shakes as a piece of cinema
    [Antonyms] exceptional
    not very good, undistinguished, unmemorable, forgettable, unexceptional, uninspired, uninspiring, uninteresting, indifferent, unimpressive, lacklustre
    informal nothing to write home about, nothing to get excited about, nothing special, not up to much
    New Zealand informal half-pie

    Choose the right word

    shake, tremble, shiver, quiver, quake
    Shake is the most general term ( buildings shook in Sacramento): the others denote shaking of various degrees of intensity, and when used of a person, indicate more often than shake that it results from weakness or emotion. Shake and quiver are the only ones that can be used transitively ( a severe earthquake shook the area).To tremble is to shake uncontrollably with slight, rapidly repeated movements. Trembling is especially associated with fear or weakness ( the boy spoke cockily, but his voice trembled | she held the letter with trembling hands).Shiver denotes a similar slight and uncontrollable shaking, but, unlike tremble, it can be used only of bodies and other physical objects, not, for example, of voices ( the spectators shivered and drew their coats firmly about them). Shivering is most commonly caused by cold or horror ( Katherine shivered and drew her coat more tightly round her | she shivered at the threat in his quiet voice).To quiver is to move lightly and rapidly and often results from strong emotion ( Anthea's eyelids quivered | ‘Don't you love me any more?’ I asked, quivering my bottom lip).To quake is to shake violently ( the rumbling vibrations set the whole valley quaking). Applied to people, quake indicates extreme fear and is typically used figuratively ( those words should have them quaking in their boots).

    Definition of shake in:

    Share this entry

    Share this page

     

    What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

    Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

    Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

    Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

    Word of the day tenebrous
    Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
    adjective
    dark; shadowy or obscure