From Middle English quaken, from Old English cwacian (“to quake, tremble, chatter”), from Proto-Germanic *kwakōną (“to shake, quiver, tremble”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷog- (“to shake, swing”), related to Old English cweċċan (“to shake, swing, move, vibrate, shake off, give up”) (see quitch), 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”).
quake (plural quakes)
- A trembling or shaking.
- We felt a quake in the apartment every time the train went by.
- An earthquake, a trembling of the ground with force.
- California is plagued by quakes; there are a few minor ones almost every month.
- (intransitive) To tremble or shake.
- I felt the ground quaking beneath my feet.
- (intransitive, figuratively) To be in a state of fear, shock, amazement, etc., such as might cause one to tremble.
- 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter III, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384:
- Turning back, then, toward the basement staircase, she began to grope her way through blinding darkness, but had taken only a few uncertain steps when, of a sudden, she stopped short and for a little stood like a stricken thing, quite motionless save that she quaked to her very marrow in the grasp of a great and enervating fear.
- 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i]:
- If Cupid have not spent all his quiver in / Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.
- c. 1599–1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene ii]:
- Now could I drink hot blood / And do such bitter business as the bitter day / Would quake to look on.
- 1591, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene viii]:
- Who honours not his father, Henry the fifth, that made all France to quake, Shake he his weapon at us, and pass by.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- inflection of :
- Alternative form of