shock Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “shock” in the English Dictionary

"shock" in British English

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shocknoun

uk   /ʃɒk/  us   /ʃɑːk/
  • shock noun (SURPRISE)

B1 [C or U] (the ​emotional or ​physicalreaction to) a ​sudden, ​unexpected, and usually ​unpleasantevent or ​experience: Her mother's ​death came as a ​great shock - it was so ​unexpected. It was such a ​loudcrash - it gave me/I gotquite a shock. It was a shock tosee her ​looking so ​ill. I was in (a ​state of) shock for about two ​weeks after the ​accident.UK Manchester City ​suffered a shock defeat (= ​completelyunexpecteddefeat) at the ​weekend.a shock to the system an ​unpleasantfeeling that you ​experience when something new or ​unusualhappens: It's really hard getting back to ​work after three ​months off - it's ​quite a shock to the ​system.

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  • shock noun (ELECTRICITY)

C2 [C] an electric shock : Ow! - I got a shock from that ​lamp!
  • shock noun (ILLNESS)

[U] a ​medicalconditioncaused by ​severeinjury, ​pain, ​loss of ​blood, or ​fear that ​slows down the ​flow of ​blood around the ​body: Several ​passengers from the ​wreckedvehicle were taken to ​hospital suffering from shock.
  • shock noun (DAMAGING EFFECT)

C2 [U] the ​effect of one ​objectviolentlyhitting another, ​causingdamage or a ​slightmovement: For ​running on hard ​roads, you need ​shoes with ​extracushioning to absorb (= ​reduce) the shock.
  • shock noun (OFFENDED)

[U] a ​feeling of being ​offended or ​upset by something you ​considerwrong or ​unacceptable: You should have ​seen the ​look of shock on her ​face when he ​startedswearing!

shockverb [I or T]

uk   /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 ​wholepoint of the ​campaign. [+ obj + to infinitive ] I ​think it shocks him tohear women ​talking about ​sex.

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B2 to make someone ​feelupset or ​surprised: The ​photographs of ​starvingchildren shocked ​people into givingmoney. The ​news of the ​accident shocked the ​family deeply.

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shockable
adjective uk   /ˈʃɒk.ə.bl̩/  us   /ˈʃɑː.kə-/
I have to be ​careful what I say to my ​mother - she's very shockable (= ​easilyoffended).
shocked
adjective uk   /ʃɒkt/  us   /ʃɑːkt/
B1 After his ​announcement, there was a shocked ​silence. [+ to infinitive] We were shocked toseesmokepouring out of the ​roof.
(Definition of shock from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"shock" in American English

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shocknoun

 us   /ʃɑk/
  • shock noun (SURPRISE)

[C/U] a ​sudden, ​unexpected, and often ​unpleasant or ​offensiveevent, or the ​emotional or ​physicalreaction to such an ​event: [C] It was ​kind of a shock to ​hear they ​wanted to ​throw it out. [C/U] Shock is also a ​medicalcondition caused by ​severeinjury, ​pain, ​loss of ​blood, or ​fright that ​slows down the ​flow of ​blood around the ​body: [U] She was going into shock – her ​flesh was ​becomingchilled and her ​muscles were ​contracting.
  • shock noun (EFFECT FROM HITTING)

[U] the ​effect, often ​includingdamage or ​slightmovement, of one ​objecthitting another ​forcefully: Running ​shoeslosetheirability to ​absorb shock.
  • shock noun (ELECTRIC CURRENT)

[C] a ​current of ​electricity going through the ​body: If that ​cord is ​pulledloose, you’ll get a shock from the ​plug.
shocking
adjective  us   /ˈʃɑk·ɪŋ/
The ​book was ​considered shocking when it was first ​published.

shockverb [I/T]

 us   /ʃɑk/
  • shock verb [I/T] (SURPRISE)

to make someone ​suddenlyfeel very ​upset or ​surprised: [T] Her ​painting might shock ​viewers. [I] The ​ads were ​designed to shock.
(Definition of shock from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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