[ kweyk ]
/ kweɪk /

verb (used without object), quaked, quak·ing.

(of persons) to shake or tremble from cold, weakness, fear, anger, or the like: He spoke boldly even though his legs were quaking.
(of things) to shake or tremble, as from shock, internal convulsion, or instability: The earth suddenly began to quake.


an earthquake.
a trembling or tremulous agitation.

Nearby words

  1. quail dove,
  2. quail-brush,
  3. quaint,
  4. quaintly,
  5. quair,
  6. quake in one's boots,
  7. quakeproof,
  8. quaker,
  9. quaker gun,
  10. quaker meeting

Origin of quake

before 900; Middle English; Old English cwacian to shake, tremble

1. shudder. See shiver1. 2. quiver.

Related formsquak·ing·ly, adverbun·quak·ing, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for quaking

British Dictionary definitions for quaking


/ (ˈkweɪkɪŋ) /


unstable or unsafe to walk on, as a bog or quicksanda quaking bog; quaking sands


/ (kweɪk) /

verb (intr)

to shake or tremble with or as with fear
to convulse or quiver, as from instability


the act or an instance of quaking
informal short for earthquake

Word Origin for quake

Old English cwacian; related to Old English cweccan to shake, Old Irish bocaim, German wackeln

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

Word Origin and History for quaking
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper