American English

Definition of shake noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable, usually singular] an act of shaking something or someone Give the bottle a good shake before opening. He dismissed the idea with a firm shake of his head (= turning it from side to side to mean “no”). She gave him a shake to wake him. see also handshake
  2. of body
  3. 2the shakes [plural] (informal) a physical condition in which you cannot stop your body from shaking because of fear, illness, or because you have drunk too much alcohol I always get the shakes before exams.
  4. drink
  5. 3[countable] = milkshake a strawberry shake
  6. Idioms
    be no great shakes (informal)
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    to be not very good, efficient, suitable, etc.
    (give somebody/get) a fair shake (informal)
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    (to give somebody/get) fair treatment that gives you the same chance as someone else Are minority students getting a fair shake at college?
    in two shakes/in a couple of shakes (informal)
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    very soon We'll be there in a couple of shakes.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: shake