to move or sway with short, quick, irregular vibratory movements.
to tremble with emotion, cold, etc.
to become dislodged and fall (usually followed by off or down): Sand shakes off easily.
to move something, or its support or container, briskly to and fro or up and down, as in mixing: Shake before using.
to totter; become unsteady.
to clasp another's hand in greeting, agreement, congratulations, etc.: Let's shake and be friends again.
Music. to execute a trill.
to move (something or its support or container) to and fro or up and down with short, quick, forcible movements: to shake a bottle of milk.
to brandish or flourish: to shake a stick at someone.
to grasp (someone or something) firmly in an attempt to move or rouse by, or as by, vigorous movement to and fro: We shook the tree.
to dislodge or dispense (something) by short, quick, forcible movements of its support or container: We shook nuts from the tree.
to cause to sway, rock, totter, etc.: to shake the very foundations of society.
to agitate or disturb profoundly in feeling: The experience shook him badly.
to cause to doubt or waver; weaken: to shake one's self-esteem.
Music. to trill (a note).
to mix (dice) by rolling in the palm of the hand before they are cast.
to get rid of; elude: They tried to shake their pursuers.
an act or instance of shaking, rocking, swaying, etc.
(the) shakes. Informal.(used with a singular verb) a state or spell of trembling, as caused by fear, fever, cold, etc.: I was up all night with a fever and the shakes.
a disturbing blow; shock.
the act or a manner of clasping another's hand in greeting, agreement, etc.: He has a strong shake.
a cast of the dice: He threw an eight on his last shake.
something resulting from shaking.
a fissure in the earth.
an internal crack or fissure in timber.
Music. trill1 (def. 9).
an instant: I'll be with you in a shake.
Carpentry. a shingle or clapboard formed by splitting a short log into a number of tapered radial sections with a hatchet.
Horology. (in an escapement) the distance between the nearer corner of one pallet and the nearest tooth of the escape wheel when the other pallet arrests an escape tooth.
Chiefly South Midland U.S. shaker (def. 2).
a dance deriving from the twist.
Slang. the dried leaves of the marijuana plant.
to cause to descend by shaking; bring down.
to cause to settle.
to condition; test: to shake down a ship.
Informal. to extort money from.
Slang. to search (someone), especially to detect concealed weapons.
to rid oneself of; reject.
to get away from; leave behind.
Baseball, Softball. (of a pitcher) to indicate rejection of (a sign by the catcher for a certain pitch) by shaking the head or motioning with the glove.
to shake in order to mix or loosen.
to upset; jar.
to agitate mentally or physically: The threat of attack has shaken up the entire country.
Idioms about shake
no great shakes, Informal. of no particular ability; unimportant; common:As opera companies go, this one is no great shakes.
shake a leg, Informal.
to hurry up; get a move on: You'd better shake a leg or we'll miss the first act.
shake hands. hand (def. 80).
shake one's head,
to indicate disapproval, disagreement, negation, or uncertainty by turning one's head from one side to the other and back: I asked him if he knew the answer, but he just shook his head.
to indicate approval, agreement, affirmation or acceptance by nodding one's head up and down.
shake the dust from one's feet. dust (def. 26).
two shakes (of a lamb's tail), a very short time; a moment.
- shak·a·ble, shake·a·ble, adjective
- re·shake, verb, re·shook, re·shak·en, re·shak·ing.
- un·shak·a·ble, adjective
- un·shak·a·ble·ly, adverb
- un·shake·a·ble, adjective
- un·shake·a·ble·ly, adverb
- un·sha·ken, adjective
- well-shaken, adjective
- shake , sheik (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use shake in a sentence
Some players are sensitive to certain types of screen movement, so we’ve included a toggle for motion blur and camera shake.‘Demon’s Souls’ devs considered, and ultimately left out, an easy mode. Here’s why. | Elise Favis | November 18, 2020 | Washington Post
Walking around, shake is kept to a minimum, but some objects in the scene seem to slightly wobble a bit as you move.The iPhone 12 Pro Max might be worth it—for the camera alone | Stan Horaczek | November 10, 2020 | Popular-Science
The shake and quick-soak method outlined here is a safer approach.
The process is also useful for products like weight-loss shakes and iced-coffee drinks.
I don’t think he’s been given the fair shake that he deserves.Full Transcript: Tomi Lahren on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’ | Daniel Malloy | August 31, 2020 | Ozy
I still wonder what my wife thinks about her big courageous man coming home shaken, seeing my tears for the first time.
The teenager was shaken by the incident, and his father remembers having to console him for hours that day.In Jerusalem Home Demolitions, the Biblical Justice of Revenge | Creede Newton | November 25, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“This has shaken me up, of course,” Aielli told reporters Friday as she went back to work.Days of Mafia Mayhem Are Wracking Italy Once Again | Barbie Latza Nadeau | November 22, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The Houthis have done exactly this and have shaken the already fragile government of Yemen to its foundations.
In a world where the dead feed upon the living, many have been shaken out of their faith.The Walking Dead’s Luke Skywalker: Rick Grimes Is the Perfect Modern-Day Mythical Hero | Regina Lizik | October 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
He hardly recognised himself, for, the foundations being shaken, all that was built upon them trembled too.The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
The first jolt had like to have shaken me out of my hammock, but afterwards the motion was easy enough.Gulliver's Travels | Jonathan Swift
At his sight shall the mountains be shaken, and at his will the south wind shall blow.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version | Various
In truth, M. de Biancourt's goodness and prudence seemed much shaken by this tempest of human passions.
Rosemary shook her head doubtfully, and her falling hair of pale, shimmering gold waved like a wheat-field shaken by a breeze.Rosemary in Search of a Father | C. N. Williamson
British Dictionary definitions for shake
to move or cause to move up and down or back and forth with short quick movements; vibrate
to sway or totter or cause to sway or totter
to clasp or grasp (the hand) of (a person) in greeting, agreement, etc: he shook John by the hand; he shook John's hand; they shook and were friends
shake hands to clasp hands in greeting, agreement, etc
shake on it informal to shake hands in agreement, reconciliation, etc
to bring or come to a specified condition by or as if by shaking: he shook free and ran
(tr) to wave or brandish: he shook his sword
(tr often foll by up) to rouse, stir, or agitate
(tr) to shock, disturb, or upset: he was shaken by the news of her death
(tr) to undermine or weaken: the crisis shook his faith
to mix (dice) by rattling in a cup or the hand before throwing
(tr) Australian archaic, slang to steal
(tr) US and Canadian informal to escape from: can you shake that detective?
music to perform a trill on (a note)
(tr) US informal to fare or progress; happen as specified: how's it shaking?
shake a leg informal to hurry: usually used in the imperative
shake in one's shoes to tremble with fear or apprehension
shake one's head to indicate disagreement or disapproval by moving the head from side to side
shake the dust from one's feet to depart gladly or with the intention not to return
the act or an instance of shaking
a tremor or vibration
the shakes informal a state of uncontrollable trembling or a condition that causes it, such as a fever
informal a very short period of time; jiffy: in half a shake
a shingle or clapboard made from a short log by splitting it radially
a fissure or crack in timber or rock
an instance of shaking dice before casting
music another word for trill 1 (def. 1)
a dance, popular in the 1960s, in which the body is shaken convulsively in time to the beat
an informal name for earthquake
short for milk shake
no great shakes informal of no great merit or value; ordinary
- shakable or shakeable, adjective
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
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
- 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.