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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for shrug off (1 of 2)

shrug off

verb (tr, adverb)

to minimize the importance of; dismiss
to get rid of
to wriggle out of or push off (clothing)

British Dictionary definitions for shrug off (2 of 2)

shrug

/ (ʃrʌɡ) /

verb shrugs, shrugging or shrugged

to draw up and drop (the shoulders) abruptly in a gesture expressing indifference, contempt, ignorance, etc

noun

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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with shrug off

shrug off

1

Minimize the importance of, as in That nasty review didn't bother him at all; he just shrugged it off. [Early 1900s]


2

Get rid of, as in She managed to shrug off her drowsiness and keep driving. [Mid-1900s]

3

Wriggle out of a garment, as in He shrugged off his coat. [First half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.