Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

shake

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb shake pronunciation in British English /ʃeɪk/ 
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theyshake
he/she/itshakes
present participleshaking
past tenseshook
past participleshaken
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to make lots of quick small movements up and down, or side to side

    Houses shook as a bomb exploded in the neighbourhood.

    1. 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.

    2. 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

    or

    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. 4
    [transitive] to make something less strong, powerful, or confident

    The news shook financial markets worldwide.

    Violent conflicts between tribes have shaken the region.

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

    The boy's tragic death shook the entire community.

    He was shaken and upset by the accident.

  6. 6

    shake

    or

    shake off

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

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

phrases

Open Dictionary

breakfast rave

a rave … that takes place early in the morning and where there is no alcohol or drugs …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog