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

  • noun A violent collision, impact, or explosion, or the force or movement resulting from this.
  • noun Something that suddenly causes emotional distress.
  • noun A sudden feeling of distress.
  • noun A massive, acute physiological reaction usually to physical trauma, infection, or allergy, characterized by a marked loss of blood pressure, resulting in a diminished blood flow to body tissues and a rapid heart rate.
  • noun The sensation and muscular spasm caused by an electric current passing through the body or a body part.
  • noun A sudden economic disturbance, such as a rise in the price of a commodity.
  • noun A shock absorber.
  • intransitive verb To surprise and disturb greatly.
  • intransitive verb To induce a state of physical shock in (an animal or person).
  • intransitive verb To subject (an animal or person) to an electric shock.
  • intransitive verb To administer electric current to (a patient) to treat cardiac arrest or life-threatening arrhythmias.
  • intransitive verb To administer electroconvulsive therapy to (a patient).
  • intransitive verb To come into contact violently, as in battle; collide.
  • noun A number of sheaves of grain stacked upright in a field for drying.
  • noun A thick heavy mass.
  • transitive verb To gather (grain) into shocks.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make up into shocks or stooks: as, to shock corn.
  • To gather sheaves in piles or shocks.
  • To strike against suddenly and violently; encounter with sudden collision or brunt; specifically, to encounter in battle: in this sense, archaic.
  • To strike as with indignation, horror, or disgust; cause to recoil, as from something astounding, appalling, hateful, or horrible; offend extremely; stagger; stun.
  • = Syn. 2. To appal, dismay, sicken, nauseate, scandalize, revolt, outrage, astound. See shock, n.
  • To collide with violence; meet in sudden onset or encounter.
  • To rush violently.
  • To butt, as rams.
  • noun In agriculture, a group of sheaves of grain placed standing in a field with the stalk-ends down, and so arranged as to shed the rain as completely as possible, in order to permit the grain to dry and ripen before housing. In England also called shook or stook.
  • noun A similar group of stalks of Indian corn or maize, not made up in sheaves, but placed singly, and bound together at the top in a conical form. Such shocks are usually made by gathering a number of cut stalks around a center of standing corn.
  • noun A unit of tale, sixty boxes or canes, by a statute of Charles II.
  • noun Synonyms and Stack, etc. See sheaf.
  • noun A dog with long rough hair; a kind of shaggy dog.
  • noun A thick, disordered mass (of hair).
  • Shaggy.
  • noun A violent collision; a concussion; a violent striking or dashing together or against, as of bodies; specifically, in seismology, an earthquake-shock (see earthquake).
  • noun Any sudden and more or less violent physical or mental impression.
  • noun Specifically
  • noun A sudden attack of paralysis; a stroke.
  • noun A strong and sudden agitation of the mind or feelings; a startling surprise accompanied by grief, alarm, indignation, horror, relief, joy, or other strong emotion: as, a shock to the moral sense of a community.
  • noun Synonyms Shock, Collision, Concussion, Jolt. A shock is a violent shaking, and may be produced by a collision, a heavy jolt, or otherwise; it may be of the nature of a concussion. The word is more often used of the effect than of the action: as, the shock of battle, a shock of electricity, the shock from the sudden announcement of bad news. A collision is the dashing of a moving body upon a body moving or still: as, a railroad collision; collision of steamships. Concussion is a shaking together; hence the word is especially applicable where that which is shaken has, or may be thought of as having, parts: as, concussion of the air or of the brain. Collision implies the solidity of the colliding objects: as, the collision of two cannon-balls in the air. A jolt is a shaking by a single abrupt jerking motion upward or downward or both, as by a springless wagon on a rough road. Shock is used figuratively; we speak sometimes of the collision of ideas or of minds: concussion and jolt are only literal.
  • noun A mirror of the poorest quality, made of ordinary window-glass.
  • A dialectal variant of shuck.

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

  • transitive verb To collect, or make up, into a shock or shocks; to stook.
  • transitive verb To give a shock to; to cause to shake or waver; hence, to strike against suddenly; to encounter with violence.
  • transitive verb To strike with surprise, terror, horror, or disgust; to cause to recoil.
  • transitive verb (Physiol.) To subject to the action of an electrical discharge so as to cause a more or less violent depression or commotion of the nervous system.
  • adjective Bushy; shaggy.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A dog with long hair or shag; -- called also shockdog.
  • noun A thick mass of bushy hair.
  • noun A pile or assemblage of sheaves of grain, as wheat, rye, or the like, set up in a field, the sheaves varying in number from twelve to sixteen; a stook.
  • noun (Com.) A lot consisting of sixty pieces; -- a term applied in some Baltic ports to loose goods.


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

[French choc, from choquer, to collide with, from Old French chuquier, perhaps of Germanic origin.]

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

[Middle English shok.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle Dutch schokken ("to push, jolt, shake, jerk") or Middle French choquer ("to collide with, clash"); both from Middle Dutch schokken ("to jolt, bounce"), from Old Dutch *skokkan ("to shake up and down, shog"), from Proto-Germanic *skukkanan (“to move, shake, tremble”). Of uncertain origin. Perhaps related to Proto-Germanic *skakanan (“to shake, stir”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kAg'-, *(s)keg- (“to shake, stir”); see shake. Cognate with Middle Low German schocken ("collide with, deliver a blow to, move back and forth"), Old High German scoc ("a jolt, swing"), Middle High German schocken (German schaukeln, "to swing"), Old Norse skykkr ("vibration, surging motion"), Icelandic skykkjun ("tremuously"), Middle English schiggen ("to shake"). More at shog.


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  • A man on talk radio at 4 a.m. who apologised, without undue theatre, for having simply walked away in shock from the bus blast rather than offering comfort to the wounded.

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  • The term shock doctrine may be appropriate but the real reason for the economic problems the US has today is a direct result of giving American corporations all the rights of an American individual but not all of the responsibilities.

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  • The shot of the girl standing in shock is one of the most disturbing scenes you'll witness, it's not something you'd expect to happen in a typical film and it's indicative of scenes to come.

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  • If you wanted to separate the freezing in shock from the utterance for some reason (I can't think of one right now, but you never know), then example two would work, in context.

    Question About Dialogue Format 2006

  • HARRIS: And his book, don't let the title shock you, "The Mystery Method: How to Get Beautiful Women into Bed."

    CNN Transcript Feb 10, 2008 2008

  • HARRIS (voice over): And his book, don't let the title shock you, "The Mystery Method: How to Get Beautiful Women into Bed."

    CNN Transcript Feb 14, 2008 2008

  • HARRIS (voice over): And his book, don't let the title shock you, "The Mystery Method: How to Get Beautiful Women into Bed."

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  • And I think the term shock and awe does indeed apply to this defense case.

    CNN Transcript May 3, 2005 2005

  • The Editor's memory matches mine with regard to the use of the fabric-covered elastic for yachting and the use of the term shock cord.

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  • transitive verb: to gather hay into shocks or sheaves.

    July 18, 2007

  • Especially if doing so on carpet in wool socks.

    July 18, 2007

  • Nah, shocking hay is best done in a field, lest you shock the householder by error.

    Actually, you remind me of the times my brother and I dared each other to touch an electric fence with a piece of dry grass. Fortunately, it delivered a very mild shock.

    And I won't even mention the prank that little country boys sometimes played on their city cousins!

    July 18, 2007

  • Slumry: See ant dance. ;oP

    July 18, 2007

  • Skykkr is a pretty cool word...see Etymology notes.

    December 15, 2015