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[shey-kee] /ˈʃeɪ ki/
adjective, shakier, shakiest.
tending to shake or tremble.
trembling; tremulous.
liable to break down or give way; insecure; not to be depended upon:
a shaky bridge.
wavering, as in allegiance:
His loyalty, always shaky, was now nonexistent.
Origin of shaky
First recorded in 1695-1705; shake + -y1
Related forms
shakily, adverb
shakiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shakily
Historical Examples
  • He fumbled in his pocket for a cigarette and shakily lighted it.

    Make Mine Homogenized Rick Raphael
  • "I can't see the upper sails, sir," declared Gambril shakily.

    The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad
  • "I want to go to bed," she said shakily, and did so, feeling for her pocket-handkerchief as she crossed the room.

    The Lee Shore Rose Macaulay
  • I am shakily mad tonight, I believe, from a so slight sticky matter.

    I, Mary MacLane Mary MacLane
  • "The—ship that was on Orede came in during the night," Maril told him shakily.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • "I dunno, yet," he said shakily, while his head rolled from side to side.

    Dead Man's Love Tom Gallon
  • It was just an X, that's all, shakily scrawled in yellow paint, with the initials "J-A" scrawled much smaller beside it.

    The Risk Profession Donald Edwin Westlake
  • "Come on, then," said Slyne, and Mr. Jobling got shakily up from the bench.

    The White Blackbird Hudson Douglas
  • shakily, he removed his headband and snapped the playback off.

    Indirection Everett B. Cole
  • Finally he got shakily to his feet, assisted by two of his men.

    Warrior of the Dawn Howard Carleton Browne
British Dictionary definitions for shakily


adjective shakier, shakiest
tending to shake or tremble
liable to prove defective; unreliable
uncertain or questionable: your arguments are very shaky
Derived Forms
shakily, adverb
shakiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shakily



1840, of handwriting; 1841 of persons, horses, and credit; 1850 of structures; from shake (v.) + -y (2). General sense of "uncertain, of questionable integrity" is from 1834. Earliest of trees or logs, "split, having fissures" (1808). Related: Shakily; shakiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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