Definition of shock noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ʃɒk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃɑːk//
    Describing hair, Electronics, Injuries, Natural disasters
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  1. 1  [countable, usually singular, uncountable] a strong feeling of surprise as a result of something happening, especially something unpleasant; the event that causes this feeling The news of my promotion came as a shock. He's still in a state of shock. I got a terrible shock the other day. She still hadn't got over the shock of seeing him again. (informal) If you think the job will be easy, you're in for a shock. Losing in the first round was a shock to the system (= it was more of a shock because it was not expected). The team suffered a shock defeat in the first round. When I added up the cost it gave me quite a shock. see also culture shock
  2. medical
  3. 2  [uncountable] a serious medical condition, usually the result of injury in which a person has lost a lot of blood and they are extremely weak She was taken to hospital suffering from shock. He isn’t seriously injured but he is in (a state of) shock. see also shell shock, toxic shock syndrome See related entries: Injuries
  4. violent shaking
  5. 3  [countable, uncountable] a violent shaking movement that is caused by an explosion, earthquake, etc. The shock of the explosion could be felt up to six miles away. The bumper absorbs shock on impact. See related entries: Natural disasters
  6. from electricity
  7. 4  [countable] = electric shock Don't touch that wire or you'll get a shock. See related entries: Electronics
  8. of hair
  9. 5a thick mass of hair on a person’s head She's a large plump woman with a shock of red hair. See related entries: Describing hair
  10. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 4 mid 16th cent.: from French choc (noun), choquer (verb), of unknown origin. The original senses were ‘throw (troops) into confusion by charging at them’ and ‘an encounter between charging forces’, giving rise to the notion of ‘sudden violent blow or impact’. noun sense 5 mid 17th cent.: origin uncertain; compare with obsolete shough, denoting a breed of lapdog. The word originally denoted a dog with long shaggy hair, and was then used as an adjective meaning ‘unkempt, shaggy’. The current sense dates from the early 19th cent.Extra examples Drivers could be in for a nasty shock when they see the cost of renewing their insurance policies. He gave himself a mild electric shock while changing a light bulb. He had gone into shock and was shaking violently. He was in deep shock after the accident. I got a terrible shock when I saw him. I got the shock of my life when she told me she was pregnant. I nearly died of shock when your mother appeared. I think I’m still in a state of shock. If you think it’s going to be easy you’re in for a shock! Imagine my shock when I saw them kissing! It was a bit of a culture shock when I first came to this country. Once the initial shock had worn off, I got to like my new hairstyle. She felt shock that he would be capable of such an act. She looked around in shock. She realized with a sudden shock that she was being followed. The article reports on a celebrity who—shock horror—has gained weight! The guards would administer electric shocks to the inmates. The low salaries came as something of a shock to her system. The news sent shock waves through the financial markets. The scene was clearly added for shock value. This news came as a great shock to me. United suffered a shock defeat to Norwich. her shock on seeing him with another woman soldiers suffering from shell shock He’s still in shock. It was a shock to see her looking so pale. Losing in the first round was a shock to the system. Since winning the competition, we’ve all been a state of shock. The news of his death came as a shock to us all.Idioms (British English, informal, often humorous) used when you pretend to be shocked by something that is not really very serious or surprising see also shock-horror
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: shock