Nearby words

  1. shrub,
  2. shrub layer,
  3. shrubbery,
  4. shrubby,
  5. shrubby cinquefoil,
  6. shrug off,
  7. shrug one's shoulders,
  8. shrunk,
  9. shrunken,
  10. sht.

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

British Dictionary definitions for shrug off

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

Word Origin and History for shrug off
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with shrug off

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 Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.