[ shim-ee ]
/ ˈʃɪm i /
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See synonyms for: shimmy / shimmied on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural shim·mies.
an American ragtime dance marked by shaking of the hips and shoulders.
excessive wobbling in the front wheels of a motor vehicle.
a chemise.
verb (used without object), shim·mied, shim·my·ing.
to dance the shimmy.
to shake, wobble, or vibrate.
Test how much you really know about regular and irregular plural nouns with this quiz.
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Which of the following nouns has an irregular plural form?

Origin of shimmy

1830–40, for def. 3; 1915–20 for def. 1; back formation and respelling of chemise, construed as a plural
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does shimmy mean?

The shimmy is a dance move that involves repeated shaking of the shoulders and hips, as in The dancer entranced the audience with her hypnotizing shimmy. 

Shimmy can also mean to perform the specific dance or to shake or wobble in general, as in The puppy shimmied through the tight doggy door. 

The noun shimmy may be accompanied by a term that says specifically which part of the body a person is shaking, as in I celebrated my big win with a shoulder shimmy. 

The plural of shimmy is shimmies.

Example: The singer shimmied along with the back-up dancers during the guitar solo.

Where does shimmy come from?

The first records of shimmy come from around 1830. It comes from a respelling of chemise, a woman’s undergarment that resembles a loose shirt. In the 1910s, it started to be used to refer to a dance move that was becoming popular.

The shimmy dance emerged at the height of the ragtime era of American music and dance. Back then, excessive shoulder and hip shaking was considered obscene and scandalous and so the shimmy dance was often banned in dance halls. Today, the shimmy is just one of many dance moves that some consider provocative.

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What are some other forms related to shimmy?

What are some synonyms for shimmy?

What are some words that share a root or word element with shimmy

What are some words that often get used in discussing shimmy?

How is shimmy used in real life?

Shimmy is most often used to refer to the dance or to wobbly movement.



Try using shimmy!

Which of the following words is a synonym of shimmy?

A. walk
B. wobble
C. run
D. swim

How to use shimmy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for shimmy

/ (ˈʃɪmɪ) /

noun plural -mies
an American ragtime dance with much shaking of the hips and shoulders
abnormal wobbling motion in a motor vehicle, esp in the front wheels or steering
an informal word for chemise
verb -mies, -mying or -mied (intr)
to dance the shimmy
to vibrate or wobble

Word Origin for shimmy

C19: changed from chemise, mistakenly assumed to be plural
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