Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To cause to move from side to side or up and down with jerky movements.
  • intransitive verb To cause to tremble, vibrate, or rock.
  • intransitive verb To brandish or wave, especially in anger.
  • intransitive verb To cause to lose stability or strength, as of conviction.
  • intransitive verb To disturb or agitate emotionally; upset or unnerve.
  • intransitive verb To remove or dislodge by jerky movements.
  • intransitive verb To scatter or strew by jerky movements.
  • intransitive verb To get rid of or put an end to.
  • intransitive verb To get away from (a pursuer).
  • intransitive verb To bring to a specified condition by or as if by shaking.
  • intransitive verb To clasp (hands) in greeting or leave-taking or as a sign of agreement.
  • intransitive verb Music To trill (a note).
  • intransitive verb Games To rattle and mix (dice) before casting.
  • intransitive verb To move from side to side or up and down in short, irregular, often jerky movements.
  • intransitive verb To move something vigorously up and down or from side to side, as in mixing.
  • intransitive verb To tremble, as from cold or in anger.
  • intransitive verb To be unsteady; totter or waver.
  • intransitive verb Music To trill.
  • intransitive verb To shake hands.
  • noun The act of shaking.
  • noun A trembling or quivering movement.
  • noun Informal An earthquake.
  • noun A fissure in rock.
  • noun A crack in timber caused by wind or frost.
  • noun Informal A moment or instant.
  • noun Music A trill.
  • noun A beverage in which the ingredients are mixed by shaking.
  • noun A rough shingle used to cover rustic buildings, such as barns.
  • noun Informal Uncontrollable trembling, as in a person who is cold, frightened, feverish, or ill. Often used with the:
  • noun Informal A bargain or deal.
  • idiom (give (someone) the shake) To escape from or get rid of.
  • idiom (no great shakes) Unexceptional; ordinary.
  • idiom (shake a leg) To dance.
  • idiom (shake a leg) To move quickly; hurry up.
  • idiom (shake (someone's) tree) To arouse to action or reaction; disturb.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English schaken, from Old English sceacan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Germanic origin, Old English scacan. Cf. Swedish skaka.

Examples

Comments

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  • Cedar shakes look similar to cedar shingles; however, the shakes are split rather than sawn.

    August 1, 2007

  • In nuclear engineering and astrophysics contexts, one shake (from "two shakes of a lamb's tail") equals 10 nanoseconds.

    November 7, 2007