verb (past shook /ʃʊk/; past participle shaken /ˈʃeɪk(ə)n/)
- 1 [no object] (Of a structure or area of land) tremble or vibrate: buildings shook in Sacramento and tremors were felt in RenoMore example sentences
- The entire area shook from the attack, and I was sure Logan was cursing at me.
- The whole area shook as pieces of the ceiling began to rain down on them.
- Morgan braced himself as the process began; the whole room shook as the generators began churning out an unearthly hum.
- 1.1 [with object] Cause to tremble or vibrate: a severe earthquake shook the areaMore example sentences
- From the courtyard, the explosion of a grenade shook the house.
- On the bridge, the explosion nearly shook everyone to the deck.
- The explosion shook the fortress and hurled her to the floor.
- 1.2(Of a person, part of the body, or the voice) tremble uncontrollably from a strong emotion: Luke was shaking with rage her voice shook with passionMore example sentences
- Tears spilt from gray eyes as Suki's body shook with uncontrolled emotion.
- Her whole body shook with emotion as she strode blindly along some path.
- Chance watched her for a few moments, her body shaking with emotion.
- 2 [with object] Move (an object) up and down or from side to side with rapid, forceful, jerky movements: she stood in the hall and shook her umbrellaMore example sentences
- I sit up in my bunk and swing my legs over the side, shaking my foot violently.
- She grabbed at her stomach as forced laughter shook her sides.
- And then the car flipped over tossing them into the side of something and shaking them about violently.
- 2.1 [with object and adverbial] Remove (an object or substance) from something by movements of this kind: they shook the sand out of their shoesMore example sentences
- Jim led the way down the hallway and up the stairs to their front door, shaking water off his jacket as he removed it.
- I pulled my head up from underwater and gasped air, shaking water out of my hair in a spray of droplets.
- He shook water droplets from his chocolate brown hair and put a dark gray vest over his black and gray striped sweater.
- 2.2Grasp (someone) and move them roughly to and fro, either in anger or to rouse them from sleep: [with object and complement]: he gently shook the driver awake and they set offMore example sentences
- After a few more moments of simply staring at the young man she smiled wide, grasping his shoulders and shaking him gently.
- At 5 am, I was shaken awake from my sleep by the dissonant sound of drumbeats and jarring notes emerging from a defunct synthesizer.
- She felt someone grasp her arms and begin shaking her roughly.
- 2.3Brandish in anger or as a warning; make a threatening gesture with: men shook their fists and shoutedMore example sentences
- I turned before I left and shook my fist threateningly at him, then slammed his door.
- Governments that desire otherwise can only shake their fist in anger.
- Glen shook his fist in mock anger, and was answered by another stuck-out-tongue.
- 2.4 • informal Get rid of or put an end to: I couldn’t shake the feeling that everyone was laughing at meMore example sentences
- She tried in vain to break the restraints or shake off the helmet.
- But I could never shake off the loneliness that comes from being different from the majority.
- He could never shake off his image as a somewhat effete elitist from America's prosperous northeast.
- 3 [with object] Upset the composure or confidence of; shock or astonish: rumours of a further loss shook the market (as adjective shaken) the boy was visibly shakenMore example sentences
upset, distress, disturb, unsettle, perturb, disconcert, discompose, disquiet, unnerve, trouble, take aback, throw off balance, agitate, fluster; shock, alarm, frighten, scare, worry, dismayNorth American • informal mess with someone's headweaken, undermine, damage, impair, harm, hurt, injure, have a bad effect on; reduce, diminish, decrease, lessen
- The town was shocked and shaken by a very horrible tragedy.
- For the next two nights, Kimmel was visibly shaken and uncomfortable.
- A publicist arrives to announce Drew is visibly shaken.
- 3.1 [with object and adverbial] Cause a change of mood or attitude by shocking or disturbing (someone): if the bombing cannot shake the government out of its complacency, what will?More example sentences
- The chime of the Hub Tower clock shook her from her practice.
- Someone stepping on his foot shook him to reality again, Sally's big eyes willed him to stay in focus, but he just couldn't.
- He looked genuinely confused for a moment, and then visibly shook himself.
nounBack to top
- 1An act of shaking: she gave her red curls a vehement shakeMore example sentences
- Camera shake is one of the most common flaws in any video production and yet it can easily be reduced.
- The walls seemed to stretch and reach forever, but the young man just dispelled the image with a shake of his head.
- He gave a single shake of his head and knit his brow.
- 1.1An amount of something that is sprinkled by shaking a container: add a few shakes of sea salt and black pepperMore example sentences
- Season clam juice or chicken stock with smashed garlic, grated ginger, a shot of sake and a few shakes of soy sauce.
- I mixed all these together with the conch, a tablespoon of fresh lime juice, a pinch of salt, and a few shakes of Tabasco.
- Tip handfuls of pale, hard goosegogs into a stainless steel pan and sprinkle them generously with unrefined golden sugar and a few good shakes of water - just enough to stop the fruit sticking.
- 2 (the shakes) • informal A fit of trembling or shivering: I wouldn’t go in there, it gives me the shakesMore example sentences
- Whatever he had planned for him today, he doubted that the shakes and a cold sweat would go over well.
- The steroid in the cocktail had the side effect of the shakes along with keeping his lungs alive.
- By some small miracle, his leg had gone undamaged, but he had since contracted a severe case of the shakes.
- 3 short for milkshake.More example sentences
- The beverages at our first Beverly Hills restaurant were basic - shakes, malts, iced tea.
- It's used in fruit shakes in Laos, coffee in Thailand and Vietnam and in America it's the corner stone for Florida's Key Lime Pie.
- The menu also features salmon, beer can chicken, large shakes and specialty margaritas.
- 5 Music A trill.More example sentences
- But he also interprets the shaking in musical terms using tremolos and trills, which can themselves be described as shakes.
- 6North American A kind of rough wooden shingle, used especially on rustic buildings: cedar shakesMore example sentences
- On the exterior, they replaced the fiberglass wall shingles with stained cedar shakes and put in oversized, divided-light windows.
- The shingles are wooden shakes that, apart from the new sections, are greyed from the elements and the outside paintjob is a cream colour with green trim.
- The neat frame building bore a skin of immaculate white clapboard, the tall, pyramidal steeple above the front door shingled with new cedar shakes.
get (or give someone) a fair shake
- North American • informal Get (or give someone) just treatment or a fair chance: I do not believe he gave the industry a fair shakeMore example sentences
- People who think it's all twee warbling over burbly synths just aren't giving them a fair shake.
- Do you feel like there are journalists who are biased against you and don't necessarily give you a fair shake?
- And given the opportunity to see the evidence, they're going to come to their own conclusion and, I hope, give him a fair shake.
in two shakes (of a lamb's tail)
- • informal Very quickly: I’ll be back to you in two shakesMore example sentences
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• informal in a jiffy, before you can say Jack Robinson, in the blink of an eye, in a blink, in the wink of an eye, in a wink, before you can say knifeBritish • informal in a tick, in two ticks, in a moNorth American • informal in a snap
- Having a broadband connection means that, as consumers, we can enjoy instant e-mail, watch live television on our PCs, or download music and large files in two shakes of a lamb's tail!
- No, my dear, Nell and I will be happy to drop you off since we're already going that way, so just sit yourself down, have a Poptart and we'll all be ready to go in two shakes of a lamb's tail.
- Well, I'll be back in two shakes of a lamb's tail with some antiseptic.
more —— than one can shake a stick at
- • informal Used to emphasize the largeness of an amount: a team with more experience than you can shake a stick atMore example sentences
- By day two this team were cranking out more new ideas than you could shake a stick at.
- It was a bad action film, bad comedy & contained more stereotypes than you could shake a stick at.
- ‘I was very scared because I thought it was going to be chock full of people with more degrees than you could shake a stick at,’ she said.
no great shakes
- • informal Not very good or significant: it is no great shakes as a piece of cinemaMore example sentences
- As it turns out, we find a nice, pleasant, amusing little buddy-cop comedy - no great shakes, no real moments of brilliance, but consistent amusement throughout.
- The steak et frites, despite being a star dish (there's even a neon ‘steak et frites’ sign outside), was no great shakes.
- It's no great shakes, but it lets me know what to expect.
shake the dust off one's feet
- Leave indignantly or disdainfully.More example sentences
- When you are discussing it, at what point do you ‘shake the dust off your feet’ and move on?
- No, you just have to kind of, like our Lord said, kind of shake the dust off your feet and walk away.
- If, after a period of time, there is no response, then they shake the dust off their feet and move on.
shake hands (with someone) (or shake someone by the hand or shake someone's hand)
- Clasp someone’s right hand in one’s own at meeting or parting, in reconciliation or congratulation, or as a sign of agreement: we shook hands on the promiseMore example sentences
- He shook Matt 's hand and then clasped Sarah's hand for a moment.
- Dom laughed and shook Ash 's hand in agreement to the bet.
- Ken Ferrari looked towards me, shaking my hand in congratulations.
shake one's head
- Turn one’s head from side to side in order to indicate refusal, denial, disapproval, or incredulity: she shook her head in disbeliefMore example sentences
- When she laid her hand on her grey suedes, she could see him shaking his head in disapproval.
- Now, I have to go think of new ways to make my relatives shake their head in disapproval at me.
- He offered me another sandwich, but I shook my head and indicated I was full.
shake (or quake) in one's shoes (or boots)
- Tremble with apprehension.More example sentences
- I on the other hand, am totally afraid, practically shaking in my boots.
- She seemed more perturbed and bemused than shaking in her boots.
- Are ad makers shaking in their shoes when they think about the impact of globalisation and the assertive entry of agencies and influences from abroad?
shake a leg
- [as imperative] • informal Make a start; rouse oneself: come on, shake a legMore example sentencesSynonymshurry up, get a move on, be quick, speed upNorth American • informal get a wiggle onSouth African • informal put foot• dated make haste
- Become established in a new place or situation; settle down: it was disruptive to the industry as it was shaking down after deregulationMore example sentences
- Both this case and the Sterling case are shaking down as classic struggles between academic integrity and the power and influence of big business on university campuses.
- As the dairy industry shakes down because of all this, there are winners and there are losers, and there are those who are hanging in there against all the odds because it's simply too hard or too heartbreaking to get out.
- The Usher Hall, normally so Edwardian, upright and slightly stuffy, slips off its tiara and shakes down to something a bit more comfortable.
shake someone down
- North American • informal Extort money from someone.More example sentences
- They even came by his desk and shook him down for the money.
- She didn't shake me down for lunch money or even touch me.
- And the responsibility stops there, and the solution to every wrong created in the society is not to rush into a court and see if we cane shake somebody down for a bunch of money?
shake someone off
- Manage to evade or outmanoeuvre someone who is following or pestering one: he thought he had shaken off his pursuerMore example sentences
- He tried to shake her off but couldn't quite manage it.
- But much to the Americans' surprise, the Eurofighter shook them off, outmanoeuvred them and moved into shooting positions on their tails.
- If by some chance you attract un-cool people, you manage to shake them off with your rapier wit.
shake something off
- Successfully deal with or recover from: Sheedy has shaken off a calf injuryMore example sentences
- He shook the memory off and looked at Jonas warily.
- With that, Sam shook the memory off and turned her horse around.
- Before today, every time Sophie visited this memory, she shook it off as coincidence.
- • informal Confirm (an agreement) by shaking hands: they shook on the dealMore example sentences
- The two shook on an agreement long ago where Durst pays Biddle a small base salary, plus extras for other tasks.
- Abbas and Sharon shake on the latest peace agreement.
- Blaise took his hand as they shook on the agreement.
shake something out
- 2 Sailing Unwind or untie a reef to increase the area of a sail.More example sentences
- Indeed, given his own preferences, Holderman thought he might actually have reduced sail, or at least left the night's reefs in rather than shaking them out, if only to give himself a little more time to avoid any ice his lookouts spotted.
shake someone up
- Rouse someone from lethargy, apathy, or complacency: he had to do something to shake the team up—we lacked sparkMore example sentences
- He told him the manager's criticism was for the good of the team, that his words were designed to shake him up, not put him down.
- This really shook Mel up and caused him to ask himself if his life was going in the right direction.
- I'm still happy and all, but something happened today that shook me up.
shake something up
- 2Make radical changes to the organization or structure of an institution or system: he presented plans to shake up the legal professionMore example sentences
- There is no shortage of proposals and initiatives to shake the system up.
- Does that mean that he has plans to shake things up on the Max Bell stage?
- I didn't expect it, though I probably should've, but Logan was formulating some plans for how to shake things up with my social life as well.
Old English sc(e)acan (verb), of Germanic origin.