from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To shake or tremble, as from instability or shock.
  • intransitive verb To shiver or shudder, as with cold or from strong emotion. synonym: shake.
  • noun An instance of quaking.
  • noun An earthquake.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A shake; a trembling; a tremulous agitation; a shuddering.
  • noun Fear; dismay.
  • noun A rather large basket with rounded bottom, made of open wickerwork, used for packing, storing provisions, etc.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[Middle English quaken, from Old English cwacian.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").


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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