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 shaky

Contemporary Examples of shaky

Historical Examples of shaky

  • Now the man had an old grandfather at home, who was weak and shaky.

  • Shaky was on his feet in an instant, and his anger was blazing in his fierce eyes.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • He weighed the stories he had heard from Shaky, and picked them threadbare.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • She found it very hard to speak and, when she did do so, her voice was shaky.

    Galusha the Magnificent

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • It is so shaky nowadays that I can scarcely decipher some of it.

British Dictionary definitions for shaky


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 shaky

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