[ sheyk-uhp ]
See synonyms for shake-up on
  1. 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use shake-up in a sentence

  • During the shake-up that followed, the aim of the two ruffians was disconcerted, and their shots went wild.

    Motor Matt's Mystery | Stanley R. Matthews
  • The request for her resignation from the other team had not specially troubled Robin, knowing that a shake-up was imminent.

  • And now they all went into fits of laughter, Addie with his silent convulsions, which made him shake up and down painfully.

    The Later Life | Louis Couperus
  • It did everlastingly shake up the country around here, and lots of permanent springs went plumb dry and never run again.

    The Long Dim Trail | Forrestine C. Hooker
  • When you appear to put the seed in the hat, break the thread and shake up the bouquets loosely, and they will nearly fill the hat.

    Magic | Ellis Stanyon

British Dictionary definitions for shake up

shake up

verb(tr, adverb)
  1. to shake or agitate in order to mix

  2. to reorganize drastically

  1. to stir or rouse

  2. to restore the shape of (a pillow, cushion, etc)

  3. informal to disturb or shock mentally or physically

  1. informal a radical or drastic reorganization

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with shake-up


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

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.