shake-up

[ sheyk-uhp ]
/ ˈʃeɪkˌʌp /

noun

a thorough change in a business, department, or the like, as by dismissals, demotions, etc.

Origin of shake-up

First recorded in 1900–05; noun use of verb phrase shake up

Definition for shake up (2 of 2)

Origin of shake

before 900; (v.) Middle English s(c)haken, Old English sceacan; cognate with Low German schacken, Old Norse skaka; (noun) derivative of the v.

SYNONYMS FOR shake

1 oscillate, waver. Shake, quiver, tremble, vibrate refer to an agitated movement that, in living things, is often involuntary. To shake is to agitate more or less quickly, abruptly, and often unevenly so as to disturb the poise, stability, or equilibrium of a person or thing: a pole shaking under his weight. To quiver is to exhibit a slight vibratory motion such as that resulting from disturbed or irregular (surface) tension: The surface of the pool quivered in the breeze. To tremble (used more often of a person) is to be agitated by intermittent, involuntary movements of the muscles, much like shivering and caused by fear, cold, weakness, great emotion, etc.: Even stout hearts tremble with dismay. To vibrate is to exhibit a rapid, rhythmical motion: A violin string vibrates when a bow is drawn across it.
2 shudder, shiver.
14 daunt.

Related forms

Can be confused

shake sheik (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for shake up (1 of 2)

shake up


verb (tr, adverb)

to shake or agitate in order to mix
to reorganize drastically
to stir or rouse
to restore the shape of (a pillow, cushion, etc)
informal to disturb or shock mentally or physically

noun shake-up

informal a radical or drastic reorganization

British Dictionary definitions for shake up (2 of 2)

shake

/ (ʃeɪk) /

verb shakes, shaking, shook or shaken (ˈʃeɪkən)

noun

Derived Forms

shakable or shakeable, adjective

Word Origin for shake

Old English sceacan; related to Old Norse skaka to shake, Old High German untscachōn to be driven
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

Idioms and Phrases with shake up (1 of 2)

shake up


1

Agitate in order to mix or loosen, as in This cough medicine needs to be thoroughly shaken up, or Please shake up these pillows.

2

Upset greatly, as in Even though no one was hurt, he was greatly shaken up by the accident. This usage alludes to being agitated like a liquid being shaken. Also see all shook up. [Late 1800s]

3

Subject to drastic rearrangement or reorganization, as in New management was bent on shaking up each division.

Idioms and Phrases with shake up (2 of 2)

shake


In addition to the idioms beginning with shake

  • shake a leg
  • shake a stick at
  • shake down
  • shake hands
  • shake in one's boots
  • shake off
  • shake one's head
  • shake someone's tree
  • shake the dust from one's feet
  • shake up
  • shake with laughter

also see:

  • all shook (shaken) up
  • fair shake
  • in two shakes
  • more than one can shake a stick at
  • movers and shakers
  • no great shakes
  • quake (shake) in one's boots
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.