Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Shake


English Wikipedia has an article on:


From Middle English schaken, from Old English sċeacan, sċacan (to shake). from Proto-Germanic *skakaną (to shake, swing, escape), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)keg-, *(s)kek- (to jump, move). Cognate with Scots schake, schack (to shake), West Frisian schaekje (to shake), Dutch schaken (to elope, make clean, shake), Low German schaken (to move, shift, push, shake) and schacken (to shake, shock), Norwegian Nynorsk skaka (to shake), Swedish skaka (to shake), Dutch schokken (to shake, shock), Russian скака́ть (skakátʹ, to jump). More at shock.


  • IPA(key): /ˈʃeɪk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪk
  • Homophones: sheik, sheikh (one pronunciation)


shake (third-person singular simple present shakes, present participle shaking, simple past shook or (rare) shaked, past participle shaken or (dialectal) shook)

  1. (transitive, ergative) To cause (something) to move rapidly in opposite directions alternatingly.
    The earthquake shook the building.
    He shook the can of soda for thirty seconds before delivering it to me, so that, when I popped it open, soda went everywhere.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, in The China Governess[1]:
      Meanwhile Nanny Broome was recovering from her initial panic and seemed anxious to make up for any kudos she might have lost, by exerting her personality to the utmost. She took the policeman's helmet and placed it on a chair, and unfolded his tunic to shake it and fold it up again for him.
  2. (transitive) To move (one's head) from side to side, especially to indicate a negative.
    Shaking his head, he kept repeating "No, no, no".
    1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, [], OCLC 964384981, Psalms 109:25:
    I became also a reproch vnto them: when they looked vpon me, they shaked their heads.
  3. (transitive) To move or remove by agitating; to throw off by a jolting or vibrating motion.
    to shake fruit down from a tree
  4. (transitive) To disturb emotionally; to shock.
    her father's death shook her terribly;  he was shaken by what had happened
    w:Elvis Presley, w:All Shook Up
    A well'a bless my soul
    What'sa wrong with me?
    I'm itchin' like a man in a fuzzy tree
    My friends say I'm actin' wild as a bug
    I'm in love
    I'm all shook up
    • 2013 July 20, “The attack of the MOOCs”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Since the launch early last year of […] two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.
  5. (transitive) To lose, evade, or get rid of (something).
    I can't shake the feeling that I forgot something.
  6. (intransitive) To move from side to side.
    She shook with grief.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 23, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      The slightest effort made the patient cough. He would stand leaning on a stick and holding a hand to his side, and when the paroxysm had passed it left him shaking.
  7. (intransitive, usually as "shake on") To shake hands.
    OK, let's shake on it.
  8. (intransitive) To dance.
    She was shaking it on the dance floor.
  9. To give a tremulous tone to; to trill.
    to shake a note in music

Derived terms[edit]


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.


shake (plural shakes)

  1. The act of shaking something.
    The cat gave the mouse a shake.
  2. A milkshake.
  3. A beverage made by adding ice cream to a (usually carbonated) drink; a float.
  4. Shake cannabis, small, leafy fragments of cannabis that gather at the bottom of a bag of marijuana.
  5. (building material) A thin shingle.
  6. A crack or split between the growth rings in wood.
  7. A fissure in rock or earth.
  8. A basic wooden shingle made from split logs, traditionally used for roofing etc.
  9. (informal) Instant, second. (Especially in two shakes.)
  10. (nautical) One of the staves of a hogshead or barrel taken apart.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Totten to this entry?)
  11. (music) A rapid alternation of a principal tone with another represented on the next degree of the staff above or below it; a trill.
  12. A shook of staves and headings.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
  13. (Britain, dialectal) The redshank, so called from the nodding of its head while on the ground.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for shake in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

Derived terms[edit]






  1. Rōmaji transcription of しゃけ
  2. Rōmaji transcription of シャケ



shake m (plural shakes)

  1. shake (drink)