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shimmy Line breaks: shimmy
Pronunciation: /ˈʃɪmi/

Definition of shimmy in English:

noun (plural shimmies)

1A kind of ragtime dance in which the whole body shakes or sways.
Example sentences
  • "If this was a shimmy competition you'd win first prize, but it's not," one of the judges said.
  • "I suppose that is why you work with so many plays," said Charlotte, "showing everyone the proper way to do a shimmy or a waltz."
  • After trouble teaching her the shimmy, he described his challenge to the camera: "Bristol is really shy, she's never performed in front of anybody and she's only in the public eye because of her mom."
1.1A shake or sway of the body.
Example sentences
  • Even heard on your iPod, it should at least provide a few head-bops and maybe a shimmy or two.
  • She made a tiny, uncontrollable shimmy with her hips.
  • I laced my arm around Keith's waist and gave a little shimmy and a wink.
2 [mass noun] Shaking, especially abnormal vibration of the wheels of a motor vehicle: steering stabilizers reduce shimmy even from oversized tyres
More example sentences
  • Whenever he drives too fast - whenever the needle on his speedometer goes above 40 - the car develops a dangerous shimmy.
  • The mechanic informs him that he cannot fix the shimmy.
  • If I strap my 10-pound mechanic's bag to the top of the rear rack, then the shimmy is so bad that hands free riding at any speed is out of the question.
3 archaic informal term for chemise.
Example sentences
  • Even though people called her poor and trash, she wore her red shimmy and smiled and studied like every other student.
  • We never wore our own clothes while we were there - we only wore a shimmy and a grey frock and one petticoat, made of the same as the frock, but no flannel petticoat or drawers.

verb (shimmies, shimmying, shimmied)

[no object] Back to top  
1Dance the shimmy.
Example sentences
  • He gyrates, shimmies, shakes his ass.
  • Constantine shimmied until beads of perspiration gathered on his shiny forehead.
  • For two 50-minute sets the crowd shrugged and shimmied to the rhythm of a more blithe and brilliant era.
1.1Shake or sway the body.
Example sentences
  • He danced, pranced, shimmied and shook; his energy was electric.
  • More than twice he was enticed into a rash challenge as the Dutchman shimmied this way then that, but twice he was booked for them.
  • She giggled, shimmied and cooed her way through the pre-awards interviews, her hair dyed flaming ginger-red styled in soft-permed pigtails, like a toy doll.
2 [with adverbial of direction] Move effortlessly; glide with a swaying motion: her hair swung in waves as she shimmied down the catwalk
More example sentences
  • She shimmied over, introduced herself, and he said 'I'm delighted to meet you.'
  • He found a couple of kids who, for $5 each, shimmied up the trees and plucked the fruit.
  • He quickly shimmied up the ladder to the hay loft, reaching down to help Amelia up.
3Shake or vibrate abnormally: he braked hard and felt the car shimmy dangerously
More example sentences
  • I knew how the steering wheel felt, always shimmying a little under your hands because there was no way you could keep the front end aligned.
  • A frame that will not shimmy for a light rider often will shimmy under a heavier rider.
  • It is not an indicator of instability; even though the bike is highly unstable when shimmying, it can be an extremely stable bike just a few miles per hour slower.


Early 20th century: of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with shimmy

gimme, Timmy

Definition of shimmy in:

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