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This page has 28 definitions of shake in English, Japanese, and Spanish, Castilian. Shake is a verb, noun and romanization. Examples of how to use shake in a sentence are shown. Also define these 46 related words and terms: refusal, reluctance, disapproval, disturb, shock, traumatize, lose, evade, get rid of, shiver, tremble, shake hands, dance, tremulous, milkshake, beverage, ice cream, carbonated, float, cannabis, shingle, crack, split, wood, fissure, rock, earth, wooden, log, roofing, in two shakes, nautical, hogshead, barrel, music, alternation, tone, staff, trill, shook, stave, heading, redshank, romaji, しゃけ, and シャケ.

See also: Shake and shakë



From Middle English schaken, from Old English sċeacan, sċacan (to shake), from Proto-West Germanic *skakan, from Proto-Germanic *skakaną (to shake, swing, escape), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)keg-, *(s)kek- (to jump, move). Cognate with Scots schake, schack (to shake), West Frisian schaekje (to shake), Dutch schaken (to elope, make clean, shake), Low German schaken (to move, shift, push, shake) and schacken (to shake, shock), Norwegian Nynorsk skaka (to shake), Swedish skaka (to shake), Dutch schokken (to shake, shock), Russian скака́ть (skakátʹ, to jump). More at shock.



shake (third-person singular simple present shakes, present participle shaking, simple past shook or (rare) shaked or (slang) shooketh, past participle shaken or (dialectal) shook)

  1. (transitive, ergative) To cause (something) to move rapidly in opposite directions alternatingly.
    The earthquake shook the building.
    He shook the can of soda for thirty seconds before delivering it to me, so that, when I popped it open, soda went everywhere.
  2. (transitive) To move (one's head) from side to side, especially to indicate refusal, reluctance, or disapproval.
    Shaking his head, he kept repeating “No, no, no”.
  3. (transitive) To move or remove by agitating; to throw off by a jolting or vibrating motion.
    to shake fruit down from a tree
  4. (transitive) To disturb emotionally; to shock.
    Synonym: traumatize
    Her father’s death shook her terribly.
    He was shaken by what had happened.
    • 2013 July 20, “The attack of the MOOCs”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Since the launch early last year of […] two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.
  5. (transitive) To lose, evade, or get rid of (something).
    I can’t shake the feeling that I forgot something.
  6. (intransitive) To move from side to side.
    Synonyms: shiver, tremble
    She shook with grief.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 23, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      The slightest effort made the patient cough. He would stand leaning on a stick and holding a hand to his side, and when the paroxysm had passed it left him shaking.
  7. (intransitive, usually as "shake on") To shake hands.
    OK, let’s shake on it.
  8. (intransitive) To dance.
    She was shaking it on the dance floor.
  9. To give a tremulous tone to; to trill.
    to shake a note in music
  10. (transitive, figuratively) To threaten to overthrow.
    The experience shook my religious belief.
  11. (intransitive, figuratively) To be agitated; to lose firmness.

Derived terms

Terms derived from shake (verb)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.


shake (plural shakes)

  1. The act of shaking or being shaken; tremulous or back-and-forth motion.
    The cat gave the mouse a shake.
    She replied in the negative, with a shake of her head.
  2. A milkshake.
  3. A beverage made by adding ice cream to a (usually carbonated) drink; a float.
    • Carbonated definition
      Containing carbon dioxide gas under pressure, especially pertaining to beverages, as natural mineral water or man-made drinks.
    • Float definition
      Of an object or substance, to be supported by a liquid of greater density than the object so as that part of the object or substance remains above the surface. (1 of 20 float definitions)
  4. Shake cannabis, small, leafy fragments of cannabis that gather at the bottom of a bag of marijuana.
  5. (building material) A thin shingle.
  6. A crack or split between the growth rings in wood.
    • Wood definition
      The substance making up the central part of the trunk and branches of a tree. Used as a material for construction, to manufacture various items, etc. or as fuel. (1 of 8 wood definitions)
  7. A fissure in rock or earth.
  8. A basic wooden shingle made from split logs, traditionally used for roofing etc.
  9. (informal) Instant, second. (Especially in two shakes.)
  10. (nautical) One of the staves of a hogshead or barrel taken apart.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Totten to this entry?)
    • Barrel definition
      A round vessel or cask, of greater length than breadth, and bulging in the middle, made of staves bound with hoops, and having flat ends or heads. Sometimes applied to a similar cylindrical container made of metal, usually called a drum. (1 of 14 barrel definitions)
  11. (music) A rapid alternation of a principal tone with another represented on the next degree of the staff above or below it; a trill.
    • Alternation definition
      The reciprocal succession of (normally two) things in time or place; the act of following and being followed by turns; alternate succession, performance, or occurrence (1 of 8 alternation definitions)
    • Staff definition
      A long, straight, thick wooden rod or stick, especially one used to assist in walking. (1 of 11 staff definitions)
    • Trill definition
      A rapid alternation between an indicated note and the one above it, in musical notation usually indicated with the letters tr written above the staff. (1 of 3 trill definitions)
  12. A shook of staves and headings.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
    • Stave definition
      One of a number of narrow strips of wood, or narrow iron plates, placed edge to edge to form the sides, covering, or lining of a vessel or structure; especially, one of the strips which form the sides of a cask, a pail, etc. (1 of 6 stave definitions)
  13. (Britain, dialect) The redshank, so called from the nodding of its head while on the ground.
  14. A shock or disturbance.
    • 1864, Elizabeth Gaskell, Cousin Phillis
      As long as I had seen Mr Holdsworth in the rooms at the little inn at Hensleydale, where I had been accustomed to look upon him as an invalid, I had not been aware of the visible shake his fever had given to his health.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for shake in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

Derived terms

Terms derived from shake (noun)


See also

  • (crack or split in wood): knot





  1. Rōmaji transcription of しゃけ
  2. Rōmaji transcription of シャケ
    • シャケ definition
      鮭: salmon



shake m (plural shakes)

  1. shake (drink)