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shake - definition and synonyms


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verb shake pronunciation in American English /ʃeɪk/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleshaking
past tenseshook
past participleshaken
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  1. 1
    [intransitive] to make many quick small movements up and down, or side to side
    1. a.
      [intransitive] if you shake, your body makes many small quick movements that you cannot control, usually because you are cold, or because you are feeling a very strong emotion
      shake with fear/laughter etc.:

      She was literally shaking with fear.

    2. b.
      [transitive] to move something quickly up and down or side to side

      An earthquake shook a wide area of southern Italy last year.

      Shake the dressing well before you put it on the salad.

    3. c.
      [transitive] to hold someone and move them quickly in order to get their attention, or to wake them

      “You’re not listening!” she cried, shaking him.

  2. 2



    shake off

    [transitive] to get rid of something bad such as a problem, illness, or fear

    She couldn’t shake her fear of snakes.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] if your voice shakes, it sounds weak, nervous, or emotional

    His voice shook as he asked her to marry him.

  4. 5
    [transitive] to frighten someone, or to cause them to feel strong emotions

    He was shaken and upset by the accident.

  5. 6



    shake off

    [transitive] to escape from someone who is following or chasing you

    They ran into the alley, hoping to shake their pursuers.



used to describe something which is done more carefully and over a longer period of time …

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the practice of giving birth in the presence of several friends and relatives

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