adjective, shak·i·er, shak·i·est.

tending to shake or tremble.
trembling; tremulous.
liable to break down or give way; insecure; not to be depended upon: a shaky bridge.
wavering, as in allegiance: His loyalty, always shaky, was now nonexistent.

Origin of shaky

First recorded in 1695–1705; shake + -y1
Related formsshak·i·ly, adverbshak·i·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shakiness

Historical Examples of shakiness

  • "I am your chief," he began, trying to master the shakiness of his voice.

    Tales of Unrest

    Joseph Conrad

  • The ink is faded and brown, the flourishes have the shakiness of age.

  • Rick spoke up, and he was surprised that there was no shakiness in his voice.

  • But he must have felt the shakiness of his answer afterwards.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost

    William Frend De Morgan

  • The shakiness of his little raft dissuaded him, and he abandoned the idea.

    The Mad Planet

    Murray Leinster

British Dictionary definitions for shakiness


adjective shakier or shakiest

tending to shake or tremble
liable to prove defective; unreliable
uncertain or questionableyour arguments are very shaky
Derived Formsshakily, adverbshakiness, noun
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 shakiness



1840, of handwriting; 1841 of persons, horses, and credit; 1850 of structures; from shake (v.) + -y (2). General sense of "uncertain, of questionable integrity" is from 1834. Earliest of trees or logs, "split, having fissures" (1808). Related: Shakily; shakiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper