Definition of shake verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ʃeɪk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃeɪk//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they shake
    BrE BrE//ʃeɪk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃeɪk//
    he / she / it shakes
    BrE BrE//ʃeɪks//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃeɪks//
    past simple shook
    BrE BrE//ʃʊk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃʊk//
    past participle shaken
    BrE BrE//ˈʃeɪkən//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈʃeɪkən//
    -ing form shaking
    BrE BrE//ˈʃeɪkɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈʃeɪkɪŋ//
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  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to move or make somebody/something move with short quick movements from side to side or up and down The whole house shakes when a train goes past. shake somebody/something Shake the bottle well before use. He shook her violently by the shoulders. shake somebody/something + adj. She shook her hair loose.
  2. 2  [transitive] shake something + adv./prep. to move something in a particular direction by shaking She bent down to shake a pebble out of her shoe.
  3. your head
  4. 3  [transitive] shake your head to turn your head from side to side as a way of saying ‘no’ or to show sadness, disapproval, doubt, etc. She shook her head in disbelief.
  5. hands
  6. 4  [transitive] to take somebody’s hand and move it up and down as a way of saying hello or to show that you agree about something shake hands (with somebody) (on something) Do people in Italy shake hands when they meet? They shook hands on the deal (= to show that they had reached an agreement). shake somebody’s hand He shook my hand warmly. shake somebody by the hand Our host shook each of us warmly by the hand.
  7. your fist
  8. 5[transitive] shake your fist (at somebody) to show that you are angry with somebody; to threaten somebody by shaking your fist (= closed hand)
  9. of body
  10. 6  [intransitive] shake (with something) to make short quick movements that you cannot control, for example because you are cold or afraid synonym tremble He was shaking with fear. I was shaking like a leaf. Her hands had started to shake.
  11. of voice
  12. 7  [intransitive] shake (with something) (of somebody’s voice) to sound unsteady, usually because you are nervous, upset or angry ‘Who are you?’ he asked, his voice shaking. Her voice shook with emotion.
  13. shock somebody
  14. 8  [transitive] (not used in the progressive tenses) to shock or upset somebody very much shake somebody He was badly shaken by the news of her death. shake somebody up The accident really shook her up.
  15. belief/idea
  16. 9[transitive] shake something to make a belief or an idea less certain The incident had shaken her faith in him. This announcement is bound to shake the confidence of the industry.
  17. get rid of
  18. 10[transitive] to get rid of something shake something off I can't seem to shake off this cold. shake something He couldn't shake the feeling that there was something wrong.
  19. Word OriginOld English sc(e)acan (verb), of Germanic origin.Extra examples He had not easily shaken Claudine off. He merely shook his head. He shook her gently by the shoulders. He shook his head at her disbelievingly. He shook the blankets vigorously to get rid of the dust. He was almost shaking with the intensity of what he was saying. He was crying and shaking all over. Her hands were shaking so badly that she couldn’t hold her glass. His voice shook with fury. I found myself shaking uncontrollably with cold. I just couldn’t stop shaking. I started shaking with fear. I was numb with dread. I was literally shaking. My body was shaking from the cold. My hands started shaking nervously. Natalie fairly shook with laughter. Roxy was practically shaking with anger. Shake well before use. She must have shaken the baby quite violently to inflict such severe injuries. She never seemed to completely shake off the dumb blonde image. She was shaking with anger/​fury/​rage. to shake with fear/​laughter/​sobs ‘Drink?’ he offered. She shook her head. Her hands started to shake. I was shaking like a leaf. If I met him I’d shake him by the hand and congratulate him. Shake the pan gently to settle the contents. She refused to shake hands with him. She shook her hair loose. The captains shook hands before the game commenced. The ground began to shake. The man shook his fist at the court after he was sentenced. The old man watched them walk off into the night, shaking his head sadly. The whole house shakes whenever a train goes past. They shook hands on the deal. Tom bent down to shake a pebble out of his shoe.Idioms
    shake/rock the foundations of something, shake/rock something to its foundations
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    to cause people to question their basic beliefs about something This issue has shaken the foundations of French politics.
    (informal) to be very frightened or nervous See related entries: Fear (old-fashioned, informal) used to tell somebody to start to do something or to hurry
    Phrasal Verbsshake downshake down somebodyshake somebodyoffshake on somethingshake somethingoutshake somebodyupshake somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: shake