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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for shakiness
Historical Examples
  • "I am your chief," he began, trying to master the shakiness of his voice.

    Tales of Unrest Joseph Conrad
  • The ink is faded and brown, the flourishes have the shakiness of age.

  • Rick spoke up, and he was surprised that there was no shakiness in his voice.

    The Caves of Fear John Blaine
  • But he must have felt the shakiness of his answer afterwards.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost

    William Frend De Morgan
  • The shakiness of his little raft dissuaded him, and he abandoned the idea.

    The Mad Planet Murray Leinster
  • "It is, it is," answered his friend, with just a touch of shakiness in his voice.

  • Twice Old Tarwater essayed to rise and go on, and each time, warned by his shakiness, sank back to recover more strength.

    The Red One Jack London
  • The least hesitation, the least doubt, the least shakiness even for the merest fraction of a second, may be fatal.

    Bert Wilson at the Wheel J. W. Duffield
  • As soon as the worst of the shakiness passed out of his legs, Carhart rose.

    The Road Builders Samuel Merwin
  • What with that, and his difficulty to keep the pot boiling, and his general state of shakiness, Lee was older than his years.

British Dictionary definitions for shakiness


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 shakiness



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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