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See more synonyms for shrug on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), shrugged, shrug·ging.
  1. to raise and contract (the shoulders), expressing indifference, disdain, etc.
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verb (used without object), shrugged, shrug·ging.
  1. to raise and contract the shoulders.
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  1. the movement of raising and contracting the shoulders.
  2. a short sweater or jacket that ends above or at the waistline.
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Verb Phrases
  1. shrug off,
    1. to disregard; minimize: to shrug off an insult.
    2. to rid oneself of: to shrug off the effects of a drug.
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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. 2018

Related Words for shrugged

hurtle, fling, bump, flop, jolt, bounce, snatch, wriggle, wiggle, wrench, lug, thrust, tug, twitch, wring, yank, flick, pull, quiver, whisk

Examples from the Web for shrugged

Contemporary Examples of shrugged

Historical Examples of shrugged

  • Then he shrugged his shoulders and went slowly up the ladder.

  • He shrugged his shoulders, and bestowed on her a very wise look.

  • She shrugged her shoulders with a petulant pessimism her youth made amusing.

  • Hubertine shrugged her shoulders, and concluded the best thing for her to do was to tease her.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • Then he shrugged his shoulders, and pinched his brother's ear.

British Dictionary definitions for shrugged


verb shrugs, shrugging or shrugged
  1. to draw up and drop (the shoulders) abruptly in a gesture expressing indifference, contempt, ignorance, etc
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  1. the gesture so made
  2. a woman's short jacket or close-fitting cardigan
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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 shrugged



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.

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a shoulder motion meant to express indifference, want of an answer, etc., 1590s, from shrug (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper