Meaning of SHAKE in English



1. when things shake

2. when your body, hand etc shakes

3. to make something shake

4. to shake a part of your body

5. to shake hands as a greeting


1. when things shake

▷ shake /ʃeɪk/ [intransitive verb]

if something shakes, it makes very small quick movements from side to side or up and down :

▪ Ed was playing his music so loud that the whole house shook.

▪ Suddenly the ground beneath my feet began to shake.

▪ The car slowed down, shook for a moment and then stopped.

▷ rattle /ˈrætl/ [intransitive verb]

to shake and repeatedly hit against something else, making a continuous noise :

▪ The windows were rattling in the wind.

▪ I woke up to the sound of cups and plates rattling, and knew that Dad was already up.

rattle [singular noun]

▪ Just then we heard the rattle of a key in the lock.

▷ wobble /ˈwɒb ə lǁˈwɑː-/ [intransitive verb]

if something wobbles, it moves from side to side because it is not steady or not well balanced :

▪ The chair wobbled under her weight and then fell over.

▪ Jerry came in carrying a tray of glasses that were wobbling alarmingly.

wobbly [adjective]

▪ Do you think this ladder’s safe? It feels a bit wobbly.

▷ vibrate /vaɪˈbreɪtǁˈvaɪbreɪt/ [intransitive verb]

to shake continuously with very small, very fast movements, for example because of the effects of a very loud noise :

▪ Some insects’ wings vibrate so fast that the movement is invisible to the human eye.

vibrate to

▪ Everything in the room was vibrating to the beat of the drum.

vibration /vaɪˈbreɪʃ ə n/ [countable/uncountable noun]

▪ The movement and vibration of the car soon sent the children to sleep.

▷ shudder /ˈʃʌdəʳ/ [intransitive verb]

if something such as a piece of machinery or a vehicle shudders, it shakes uncontrollably with very small movements :

▪ Our house was so close to the railway that you could feel it shudder every time a train went by.

shudder to a halt

shake a lot and then stop

▪ The train shuddered to a halt at the station.

shudder [countable noun]

▪ A series of shudders went through the ship as the mine exploded.

▷ judder /ˈdʒʌdəʳ/ [intransitive verb] especially British

if something judders, it shakes with small, quick movements, especially because something is stopping it moving freely or smoothly :

▪ Jackson took his Land Rover off the track and it juddered over 15 metres of grass.

▪ The elevator doors juddered open when we reached the fifth floor.

judder to a halt

shake a lot and then stop

▪ Something was obviously wrong with the car and eventually it just juddered to a halt.

judder [countable noun]

▪ With a final judder, the car stopped altogether.

▷ jolt /dʒəʊlt/ [intransitive verb]

to move up and down or from side to side with sudden large movements - use this especially about a vehicle or machine that is not working well or moving smoothly :

▪ Our coach jolted and stopped. Then it started again.

jolt along/over/through etc

▪ He ran down the hill, the backpack jolting from side to side on his back.

jolt to a halt/stop

▪ Everyone was alarmed when the elevator jolted to a halt.

jolt [countable noun]

▪ The train stopped with a sudden jolt.

2. when your body, hand etc shakes

▷ shake /ʃeɪk/ [intransitive verb]

if you shake, your body makes small quick uncontrolled movements, for example because you are frightened, nervous, or angry :

▪ My hands were shaking so much I could hardly write my name on the exam paper.

shake with fear/anger/laughter etc

shake because you are frightened, angry etc

▪ The others were all shaking with laughter.

▷ tremble /ˈtremb ə l/ [intransitive verb]

to shake very slightly, especially because you are frightened or upset :

▪ Jane’s lip began to tremble and I though she was going to cry.

▪ The dog sat trembling in a corner.

tremble with anger/emotion/fear etc

▪ Polly hid behind the door, trembling with fear.

▷ shiver /ˈʃɪvəʳ/ [intransitive verb]

to shake because you are cold, or because of an emotion such as fear :

▪ Julia shivered and pulled her coat more tightly around her.

▪ You’re shivering! Do you want to go indoors?

shiver with excitement/fear/horror etc

▪ Lizzy looked out at the thick snow and shivered with excitement.

shiver [countable noun]

▪ ‘It’s freezing!’ Tom said with a shiver.

send a shiver down your spine

make you shiver because you are frightened

▪ The story he told me sent a shiver down my spine.

▷ shudder /ˈʃʌdəʳ/ [intransitive verb]

to shake uncontrollably for a short moment, especially because the idea of something is very unpleasant or upsetting :

▪ Dave tried to kiss Julia but she shuddered and turned away.

▪ I shuddered to think of my son all alone in New York.

shudder [countable noun]

▪ ‘I can’t even stand to be in the same room as him!’ she said with a shudder.

▷ twitch /twɪtʃ/ [intransitive verb]

if a part of your body twitches, it makes a very small, sudden movement, especially when you do not want this to happen but you cannot control it :

▪ Mac was very nervous. A muscle on his face began to twitch.

▪ Roberta’s mouth twitched as she tried to stop herself laughing out loud.

twitch [countable noun]

▪ A twitch of anxiety crossed my father’s face.

▷ quiver /ˈkwɪvəʳ/ [intransitive verb]

to shake so slightly that it is difficult for other people to notice, especially because you are very excited, nervous, or angry :

▪ John’s hands were quivering as he put down his papers and started his speech.

quiver with anger/excitement/fear etc

▪ The children stood there quivering with excitement as I opened the package.

▷ convulsion /kənˈvʌlʃ ə n/ [countable noun usually plural]

when your body shakes violently and uncontrollably because you are very ill :

have convulsions

▪ The baby was sweating and crying. She started to have convulsions again.

go into convulsions

▪ Andrew died after taking the drug, which had caused him to go into convulsions.

3. to make something shake

▷ shake /ʃeɪk/ [transitive verb]

to make something move up and down or from side to side with small quick movements :

▪ Shake the bottle before you open it.

▪ She shook the blanket to get rid of all the dust.

▪ The huge explosion shook houses up to five miles away.

▷ make something shake /ˌmeɪk something ˈʃeɪk/ [verb phrase]

to make a place or object shake - use this especially about loud noises or strong movements or explosions :

▪ The music was so loud that it made the floor shake.

▪ Every time a train passed it made the whole house shake.

▷ give something a shake /ˌgɪv something ə ˈʃeɪk/ [verb phrase] especially British

to hold something and shake it a few times :

▪ I gave the box a shake to see if there was anything inside.

▪ Martha took the tablecloth outside and gave it a good shake.

▷ agitate /ˈædʒɪteɪt, ˈædʒəteɪt/ [transitive verb]

to shake a liquid quickly - use this especially in technical or scientific contexts :

▪ Mix the two solutions together and agitate the bottle.

4. to shake a part of your body

▷ shake /ʃeɪk/ [transitive verb]

▪ Brad got up and shook his legs to get all the grass off.

▪ She shook her long blonde hair.

shake your head

move your head from side to side as a way of saying 'no'

▪ Mom shook her head. ‘You can’t go out again at this time of night.’

shake your fist (at somebody)

shake your closed hand in front of someone as a way of showing that you are angry

▪ ‘Women drivers!’ the truck driver yelled, shaking his fist at me.

▷ wiggle /ˈwɪg ə l/ [transitive verb]

to move your toes, fingers, bottom etc with a series of small movements :

▪ Karen sat in front of the fire and wiggled her toes.

▪ Marilyn Monroe was able to wiggle her hips in a way that drove men wild.

▷ waggle /ˈwæg ə l/ [transitive verb] British

to move part of your body, especially your bottom, legs, or toes, from side to side or up and down, with fairly large movements :

▪ The children were told to lie on their backs and waggle their legs in the air.

▪ I’ve always wanted to be able to waggle my ears.

▷ wag /wæg/ [transitive verb]

if a dog wags its tail, it moves its tail from side to side; if a person wags their finger or head, they shake it repeatedly, especially in order to show that they do not like something that someone has done :

▪ A dog wags its tail in order to show friendliness and pleasure.

▪ ‘You shouldn’t have done that!’ Mum said, wagging her finger at me.

5. to shake hands as a greeting

▷ shake hands /ˌʃeɪk ˈhændz/ [verb phrase]

if two people shake hands, they each hold the other person’s hand and move it up and down with their own, as a polite or formal greeting :

▪ The two leaders shook hands and walked into the White House.

shake hands with

▪ The picture shows him shaking hands with the Prime Minister.

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