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[shruhg] /ʃrʌg/
verb (used with object), shrugged, shrugging.
to raise and contract (the shoulders), expressing indifference, disdain, etc.
verb (used without object), shrugged, shrugging.
to raise and contract the shoulders.
the movement of raising and contracting the shoulders.
a short sweater or jacket that ends above or at the waistline.
Verb phrases
shrug off,
  1. to disregard; minimize:
    to shrug off an insult.
  2. to rid oneself of:
    to shrug off the effects of a drug.
Origin of shrug
late Middle English
1350-1400; (v.) Middle English schruggen to shudder, shrug < ?; (noun) late Middle English shrugge a tug, pull, derivative of the v.
Related forms
unshrugging, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shrugged
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He shrugged his shoulders, almost like one of the Frenchmen whom he had met ever since he was a child.

    Bella Donna Robert Hichens
  • He shrugged his shoulders and left the room without another word.

    Jack O' Judgment Edgar Wallace
  • She just shrugged her shoulders and smiled, and said 'My dear, we all know our Nan.

    Dangerous Ages Rose Macaulay
  • But the other shrugged his shoulders with well-studied indifference.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • Mr. Fortescue, a tall, powerfully-built specimen of English squiredom, shrugged his shoulders unseen by his wife.

    Dorothy's Double G. A. Henty
British Dictionary definitions for shrugged


verb shrugs, shrugging, shrugged
to draw up and drop (the shoulders) abruptly in a gesture expressing indifference, contempt, ignorance, etc
the gesture so made
a woman's short jacket or close-fitting cardigan
Word Origin
C14: of uncertain origin
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 shrugged



c.1400, schurgyng, of uncertain origin. Perhaps connected to Danish skrugge "to stoop, crouch." Related: Shrugged; shrugging. To shrug (something) off "dismiss" is recorded from 1909.


a shoulder motion meant to express indifference, want of an answer, etc., 1590s, from shrug (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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