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English definition of “shake”

shake

verb uk   /ʃeɪk/ (shook, shaken) us  

shake verb (MOVE)

B1 [I or T] to move backwards and forwards or up and down in quick, short movements, or to make something or someone do this: A young boy climbed into the apple tree and shook the branches so that the fruit fell down. Babies like toys that make a noise when they're shaken. The explosion shook buildings for miles around. [+ obj + adj ] People in southern California were shaken awake by an earthquake. She shook her hair loose from its ribbon. Anna shook some powdered chocolate over her coffee. Every time one of these big trucks goes through the village, all the houses shake. The child's body was shaking with sobs.Shaking, swinging and vibrating B2 [I] If you are shaking, your body makes quick short movements, or you feel as if it is doing so, because you are frightened or nervous: She was shaking as she opened the letter. Her voice shook as she spoke about the person who attacked her. I was shaking in my shoes/boots (= very nervous) about having to tell Dad what I'd done. I was shaking like a leaf (= very nervous) before my exam.Making short, sudden movements shake sb's hand/shake sb by the hand B1 to hold someone's hand and move it up and down, especially when you meet them for the first time or when you make an agreement with them: "Pleased to meet you," he said, shaking my hand. The Princess was photographed shaking hands with AIDS victims. It seems that we have a deal, so let's shake (hands) on it. "Congratulations," she said, shaking the winner by the hand.Welcoming, greeting and greetingsGestures with the hands or arms shake your head B2 to move your head from side to side, in order to express disagreement, sadness, or that you do not want or believe something: I asked Tim if he'd seen Jackie lately but he shook his head. "That's incredible!" he said, shaking his head in disbelief.Gestures with the head or shoulders shake your fist to hold your hand up in the air with your fingers and thumb bent, and move it forcefully backwards and forwards, to show that you are angry: He shook his fist at the driver who pulled out in front of him.Gestures with the hands or arms

shake verb (UPSET)

[T] to cause to feel upset and worried: The child seemed nervous and visibly shaken. The news has shaken the whole country.Making people sad, shocked and upset

shake verb (MAKE WEAKER)

[T] to make something less certain, firm, or strong: What has happened has shaken the foundations of her belief. After six defeats in a row, the team's confidence has been badly shaken. This discovery may shake (up) traditional theories on how mountains are formed.Becoming and making less strong

shake verb (GET RID OF)

C2 [T] to get rid of or escape from something: It's very difficult to shake the habit of a lifetime. The company has so far been unable to shake (off) its reputation for being old-fashioned.Removing and getting rid of thingsTaking things away from someone or somewhere

shake

noun uk   /ʃeɪk/ us  
[C] an act of shaking something: She gave the box a shake to see if there was anything inside it. "No, no, no," he said with a shake of his head.Shaking, swinging and vibrating the shakes [plural] informal short, quick movements from side to side that your body makes because you are ill, are frightened, or have drunk too much alcohol: I watched her hands as she prepared coffee and she definitely had the shakes.Making short, sudden movements [C] informal a milkshakeSoft drinks
(Definition of shake from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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