Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “shock”


verb [I or T] (OFFEND)    /ʃɒk/ US  /ʃɑːk/
B2 to offend or upset someone by doing or saying something that they consider is immoral or unacceptable: The advertisements were designed to shock - that was the whole point of the campaign. [+ obj + to infinitive ] I think it shocks him to hear women talking about sex.Making people sad, shocked and upset shockable     /ˈʃɒk.ə.bl̩/ US  /ˈʃɑː.kə-/ adjective I have to be careful what I say to my mother - she's very shockable (= easily offended).Becoming too excited and easily upset
(Definition of shock verb (OFFEND) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of shock

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Making people sad, shocked and upset, but you might be interested in these topics from the Sadness topic area:

Definitions of “shock” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


an ability to do things in the stated, especially positive, way

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More