Pronunciation: (shāk), [key]
—v., shook, shak•en, shak•ing,
1. to move or sway with short, quick, irregular vibratory movements.
2. to tremble with emotion, cold, etc.
3. to become dislodged and fall (usually fol. by off or down): Sand shakes off easily.
4. to move something, or its support or container, briskly to and fro or up and down, as in mixing: Shake before using.
5. to totter; become unsteady.
6. to clasp another's hand in greeting, agreement, congratulations, etc.: Let's shake and be friends again.
7. Music.to execute a trill.
1. to move (something or its support or container) to and fro or up and down with short, quick, forcible movements: to shake a bottle of milk.
2. to brandish or flourish: to shake a stick at someone.
3. to grasp (someone or something) firmly in an attempt to move or rouse by, or as by, vigorous movement to and fro: We shook the tree.
4. to dislodge or dispense (something) by short, quick, forcible movements of its support or container: We shook nuts from the tree.
5. to cause to sway, rock, totter, etc.: to shake the very foundations of society.
6. to agitate or disturb profoundly in feeling: The experience shook him badly.
7. to cause to doubt or waver; weaken. to shake one's self-esteem.
8. Music.to trill (a note).
9. to mix (dice) by rolling in the palm of the hand before they are cast.
10. to get rid of; elude: They tried to shake their pursuers.
11. shake a leg, Informal.
a. to hurry up; get a move on: You'd better shake a leg or we'll miss the first act.
b. to dance.
12. shake down,
a. to cause to descend by shaking; bring down.
b. to cause to settle.
c. to condition; test: to shake down a ship.
d. Informal.to extort money from.
e. Slang.to search (someone), esp. to detect concealed weapons.
13. shake hands. See hand (def. 64).
14. shake off,
a. to rid oneself of; reject.
b. to get away from; leave behind.
c. Baseball, Softball.(of a pitcher) to indicate rejection of (a sign by the catcher for a certain pitch) by shaking the head or motioning with the glove.
15. shake one's head,
a. to indicate disapproval, disagreement, negation, or uncertainty by turning one's head from one side to the other and back: I asked him if he knew the answer, but he just shook his head.
b. to indicate approval, agreement, affirmation or acceptance by nodding one's head up and down.
16. shake the dust from one's feet. See dust (def. 18).
17. shake up,
a. to shake in order to mix or loosen.
b. to upset; jar.
c. to agitate mentally or physically: The threat of attack has shaken up the entire country.
1. an act or instance of shaking, rocking, swaying, etc.
2. tremulous motion.
3. a tremor.
4. shakes, (used with a sing. v.) Informal.a state or spell of trembling, as caused by fear, fever, cold, etc. (usually prec. by the).
5. a disturbing blow; shock.
6. Informal.See milk shake.
7. the act or a manner of clasping another's hand in greeting, agreement, etc.: He has a strong shake.
8. Informal.chance or fate; deal: a fair shake.
9. a cast of the dice: He threw an eight on his last shake.
10. something resulting from shaking.
11. an earthquake.
12. a fissure in the earth.
13. an internal crack or fissure in timber.
14. Music.trill1 (def. 9).
15. an instant: I'll be with you in a shake.
16. Carpentry.a shingle or clapboard formed by splitting a short log into a number of tapered radial sections with a hatchet.
17. Horol.(in an escapement) the distance between the nearer corner of one pallet and the nearest tooth of the escape wheel when the other pallet arrests an escape tooth.
18. Chiefly South Midland U.S.shaker (def. 2).
19. a dance deriving from the twist.
20. Slang.the dried leaves of the marijuana plant.
21. no great shakes, Informal.of no particular ability; unimportant; common: As opera companies go, this one is no great shakes.
22. two shakes or two shakes of a lamb's tail, a very short time; a moment.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.