Meaning of SHAKE in English


I. ˈshāk verb

( shook ˈshu̇k, dial ˈshək ; or chiefly dialect shaked ˈshākt ; or dialect shaken ; shak·en ˈshākən ; or chiefly dialect shaked or shook ; shaking ; shakes )

Etymology: Middle English shaken, from Old English sceacan; akin to Old Saxon skakan to depart, Old Norse skaka to shake, Sanskrit khajati he churns, agitates, and probably to Old Norse skaga to project — more at shag

intransitive verb

1. : to move to and fro : quiver , flutter

the long light shakes across the lakes — Alfred Tennyson

sails shaking in the wind

2. : to undergo vibration especially as the result of a blow or shock

the earth itself seemed to shake beneath my feet — W.H.Hudson †1922

felt the ship shake and toss


a. : to tremble as a result of physical or emotional disturbance

felt his heart shaking within him — Marguerite Young

his voice shook and became shrill — Kenneth Roberts

were shaking in their shoes

b. : to become convulsed with laughter

4. : to experience a state of instability

the economy was still shaking from the inflationary impact of the minimum wage decree — Time

5. : to move something to and fro, up and down, or from side to side in a brisk manner especially in order to bring about mixing

shake well before using

6. : to clasp hands

agreed to shake and be friends

7. : trill

8. : to form a crack by a separation between growth rings : split

9. dialect chiefly Britain : fall — usually used of grain or fruit

transitive verb


a. : to brandish, wave, or flourish often in a threatening manner

people passing by … shake their fists and curse — A.E.Housman

the lightly clenched hand and fist shaken vigorously in the direction of the players concerned — Warwick Braithwaite

b. : to wave in farewell

shaking her fingers playfully in the direction of the vehicle — W.M.Thackeray


a. : to cause to move in a quick jerky manner

shake their heads like angry bulls — Goddard Lieberson

rattling and shaking the latch — Dorothy C. Fisher

b. : to cause to be moved briskly in order to remove what adheres or is contained

shook the dustcloth out the window

shook the tree to get some apples

c. : to cause to be moved to and fro, up and down, or from side to side especially in order to bring about mixing

the vial is half filled and shaken vigorously — Journal of Economic Entomology

— often used with up

d. : to move (a part of the body) rhythmically in dancing

resolved to shake their heels … in jigs and Highland reels — David Grant


a. : to cause to quake, quiver, or vibrate

the earthquake … shook all that coast — James Courage

thunder that shook the tropical foliage — Allen Churchill

the boom of a football rally shakes the night air — Corey Ford

b. : to cause to tremble

a shudder shook the long emaciated frame — T.B.Costain

toward afternoon another chill began to shake her — Laura Krey

c. : to cause to become convulsed with laughter


a. : to take hold and move vigorously to and fro

shook the boy until his teeth chattered

shook him by the shoulder to wake him up

b. : worry 2


a. : to free oneself from : cast off

had shaken his bad habits and was firmly launched on his career — Quick

have been disappointed so often that they cannot shake their despair — M.H.Rubin

— often used with off

find it hard to shake off these tentacles of organized crime — R.E.Merriam

b. : to get away from : get rid of

can you shake your friend? I want to talk to you alone — Elmer Davis

the enemy gunboat has far too good a contact to be shaken so easily — E.L.Beach

— often used with off

there was no shaking off the press — Polly Adler


a. : to lessen the stability of : cause to waver : weaken

ignored any book that could shake your faith — Virginia Woolf

nothing that the emperor said or did could shake him — Douglas Stewart

b. : to bring about an impairment of

her mind had been shaken … by the cruelty of her husband — Mary H. Vorse


a. : to bring to a specified condition by or as if by repeated quick jerky movements

the roads are so bad that we nearly get shaken to pieces — Rachel Henning

shook his coat into place as he bent forward — Marguerite Steen

b. : to bring (oneself) to a specified state by or as if by a shake

shook himself loose from the man's grasp

c. : to arouse (oneself) to or as if to activity

shake thyself from the dust; arise — Isa 52:2 (Authorized Version)


a. : to distribute with or as if with a shake : sprinkle

shook salt and pepper over the potatoes

b. obsolete : to cast down : scatter

confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds — Shakespeare

9. chiefly Australia : rob , steal

10. : to dislodge or eject by or as if by quick jerky movements of the support or container

shake the quarry from the limb — American Guide Series: Tennessee

shook the sand from his shoes


a. : to clasp (hands) in greeting or farewell or as a sign of good will or agreement

b. : grasp

shook him by the hand at parting — Joseph Addison

12. : to stir the feelings of : upset

the appalling nature of the disaster … shook her very much — Nevil Shute

— often used with up

you were all shaken up inside — R.H.Newman

13. : trill

shake a note in music

14. : to cause a shake in (lumber)


a. : to separate the staves of (a cask)

b. : to disassemble (a cask) and bind into a shook


agitate , rock , convulse : shake means to move up and down or to and fro, usually with sharp violence, or occasionally to strike with jarring, unsettling impact

as there is a high wind blowing nearly all the time, the nests are continually shaken to and fro — John Seago

this social upheaval is shaking the underdeveloped parts of the world — A.H.Hansen

agitate may suggest continued strong tossing or violent stirring or stirring up with commotion and disturbance

the leaves on the trees were agitated as if by a high wind — W.H.Hudson †1922

the water became agitated with the flapping of countless fins — Tom Marvel

the physician interposes, frightens the family, agitates the patient to the utmost — H.A.Overstreet

rock suggests a swinging back and forth, a violent swaying, or a violent impact bringing about or threatening a fall or collapse

rock a child to sleep

the road was rough and twisting, and the ambulance rocked a great deal — Fred Majdalany

family life rocked with the rise in the divorce rate and the new liberty in sexual matters — Oscar Handlin

convulse suggests the violent, disturbed, wild motion of a spasm or paroxysm

convulsed on the carpet in the paroxysms of an epileptic seizure — Thomas Hardy

earthquakes convulsing the island

convulsed with terror of hellfire — American Guide Series: Massachusetts

Synonym: see in addition swing .

- be shook on

- shake a leg

- shake one's head

II. noun

( -s )

1. : an act of shaking: as

a. : an act of shaking hands

welcomed the visitor with a hearty shake

b. : an act of shaking oneself

now lapdogs give themselves the rousing shake — Alexander Pope


a. : a blow or shock that upsets the equilibrium or disturbs the balance of something

the rude shakes which science has given to … their cherished convictions — Herbert Spencer

b. : earthquake


a. : nervous agitation resulting especially from fear — usually used in plural

I don't think I got over the shakes for two hours — Brad Sebstad

b. : a condition or disease accompanied by marked trembling — usually used in plural

nobody has a hangover and … nobody has the shakes — Mary McCarthy

c. shakes plural : malaria 2a

the shakes … supposed to be the result of a miasma emanating from the spring plowing of wild ground — Edna Ferber

d. : an attack of the shakes

4. : something produced by or as if by shaking: as


(1) : a fissure or crack between and parallel to the annual rings of growth in timber usually caused by wind or frost — compare check 14a(1)

(2) : a longitudinal crack in an archery bow

b. : a fissure in strata : a cleft in rock

c. : milk shake

a chocolate shake

5. : a wavering, quivering, or alternating motion caused by or as if by a blow or shock

6. : trill


a. : a very brief period of time : instant

for a shake they had stood there and looked at each other — Conrad Richter

b. : a unit of time used in nuclear physics and related fields that constitutes one hundredth of a microsecond

8. shakes plural : one of importance or ability — usually used in the phrase no great shakes

no great shakes as a philosopher — Wanda Neff



(1) : stave 2a

(2) : shook 1a

b. : a shingle split from a piece of log usually three or four feet long

10. : deal III 2b

the honest merchants who gave baffled marines a square shake — L.M.Uris

11. : dismissal

they all give him the cold shake — Mark Twain

12. : the mechanism that shakes the wet end of a fourdrinier paper machine sideways and thereby causes the fibers to felt together as they settle through the water

13. Britain : a slur or mackle in printing

14. : backlash

15. : shake culture


a. : the distance between the fork and a roller in a watch while at the lock position

b. : the space between the let-off of an escape-wheel tooth and pallet stone in a watch while at the lock position

c. : the end play of arbors in a watch

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.