Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “shrug”

shrug

verb [I or T] uk   /ʃrʌɡ/ (-gg-) us  
C2 to raise your shoulders and then lower them in order to say you do not know or are not interested: "Where's Dad?" "How should I know?" replied my brother, shrugging. He shrugged his shoulders as if to say that there was nothing he could do about it.figurative Thousands of people are starving to death while the world shrugs its shoulders (= shows no interest or care).
Phrasal verbs

shrug

noun [C] uk   /ʃrʌɡ/ us  

shrug noun [C] (SHOULDER MOVEMENT)

the action of raising and lowering your shoulders to express something: "I'm afraid there's nothing I can do about your problem," she said with a shrug. "Well, I suppose we'll just have to do what he says," said Kim with a shrug of resignation.

shrug noun [C] (CLOTHES)

a short cardigan for women
(Definition of shrug from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of shrug?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Treating as unimportant, but you might be interested in these topics from the Attention and care topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “shrug” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

look on the bright side

to find good things in a bad situation

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More