verb (used with object), shrugged, shrug·ging.
to raise and contract (the shoulders), expressing indifference, disdain, etc.
verb (used without object), shrugged, shrug·ging.
to raise and contract the shoulders.
the movement of raising and contracting the shoulders.
a short sweater or jacket that ends above or at the waistline.
- to disregard; minimize: to shrug off an insult.
- to rid oneself of: to shrug off the effects of a drug.
Origin of shrug
1350–1400; (v.) Middle English schruggen to shudder, shrug < ?; (noun) late Middle English shrugge a tug, pull, derivative of the v.Related formsun·shrug·ging, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for shrug off
verb (tr, adverb)
to minimize the importance of; dismiss
to get rid of
to wriggle out of or push off (clothing)
verb shrugs, shrugging or shrugged
to draw up and drop (the shoulders) abruptly in a gesture expressing indifference, contempt, ignorance, etc
the gesture so made
a woman's short jacket or close-fitting cardigan
Word Origin for shrug
C14: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for shrug off
c.1400, schurgyng, of uncertain origin. Perhaps connected to Danish skrugge "to stoop, crouch." Related: Shrugged; shrugging. To shrug (something) off "dismiss" is recorded from 1909.
a shoulder motion meant to express indifference, want of an answer, etc., 1590s, from shrug (v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with shrug off
Minimize the importance of, as in That nasty review didn't bother him at all; he just shrugged it off. [Early 1900s]
Get rid of, as in She managed to shrug off her drowsiness and keep driving. [Mid-1900s]
Wriggle out of a garment, as in He shrugged off his coat. [First half of 1900s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
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