Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To shake or tremble, as from instability or shock.
  • intransitive v. To shiver, as with cold or from strong emotion. See Synonyms at shake.
  • n. An instance of quaking.
  • n. An earthquake.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A trembling or shaking.
  • n. An earthquake, a trembling of the ground with force.
  • v. To tremble or shake.
  • v. To tremble or shake with fear.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To be agitated with quick, short motions continually repeated; to shake with fear, cold, etc.; to shudder; to tremble.
  • intransitive v. To shake, vibrate, or quiver, either from not being solid, as soft, wet land, or from violent convulsion of any kind
  • transitive v. To cause to quake.
  • n. A tremulous agitation; a quick vibratory movement; a shudder; a quivering.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shake; tremble; be agitated by tremors or shocks.
  • To tremble from internal convulsions or shocks.
  • To tremble from want of solidity or firmness: as, quaking jelly; a quaking bog.
  • and
  • To vibrate, quiver.
  • To cause to shake or tremble; throw into agitation or trembling; cause to shiver or shudder.
  • n. A shake; a trembling; a tremulous agitation; a shuddering.
  • n. Fear; dismay.
  • n. A rather large basket with rounded bottom, made of open wickerwork, used for packing, storing provisions, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. shake with fast, tremulous movements
  • v. shake with seismic vibrations
  • n. shaking and vibration at the surface of the earth resulting from underground movement along a fault plane of from volcanic activity

Etymologies

Middle English quaken, from Old English cwacian.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English quaken, from Old English cwacian ("to quake, tremble, chatter"), from Proto-Germanic *kwakōnan (“to shake, quiver, tremble”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷog- (“to shake, swing”), related to Old English cweccan ("to shake, swing, move, vibrate, shake off, give up") (see quitch), Eastern Frisian kwakkelje ("to flounder, limp"), Dutch kwakkelen ("to ail, be ailing"), German Quackelei ("chattering"), Danish kvakle ("to bungle"), Latin vēxō ("toss, shake violently, jostle, vex"), Irish bogadh ("a move, movement, shift, change"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • When I needed someone I chose you
    Because the fledgling soul awakes
    And on the balcony she quakes
    And she is waiting for the sign
    And when the brother does not come
    And when the sister's much too young, she chooses you.


    (A dawn and dusky blonde, by God Help the Girl)

    November 5, 2009