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Definition of “shake” - English Dictionary

"shake" in American English

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 us   /ʃeɪk/ (past tense shook  /ʃʊk/ , past participle shaken  /ˈʃeɪ·kən/ )
  • shake verb (MOVE)

[I/T] to move something ​backward and ​forward or up and down in ​quick, ​shortmovements: [T] Shake the can. [T] She shook Dana ​gently. [T] Cory shook some ​powderedsugar on her ​Frenchtoast. [I] The ​explosion made the ​ground shake. [M] Lily shook her ​longhair out (= moved her ​hair to make it ​fallloosely around her ​shoulders). [M] She shook out the ​tablecloth (= shook it so anything on it ​fell off).
[I/T] If you or ​part of ​yourbody shakes, you make ​quick, ​shortmovements, or you ​feel as if you are doing this, because you are ​cold, ​frightened, or ​upset: [I] She was ​soakingwet and shaking when she when she ​finally got ​home. [I] Her ​hands shook as she ​opened the ​letter.
[I/T] If someone’s ​voice shakes, ​itssoundfrequentlychanges because of ​fear or other ​emotions.
shake your fist
If you shake ​yourfist, you ​holdyourhand up with ​yourfingers and ​thumbclosed and move it ​backward and ​forward to show you are ​angry: They ​stood at the ​gate, shaking ​theirfists and ​shouting.
shake hands
If two ​people shake ​hands, they ​greet or say ​goodbye by ​brieflyjoininghands and ​moving them ​slightly up and down: We shook ​hands and ​left.
shake your head
If you shake ​yourhead, you move it from ​side to ​side to say "no" or show ​disagreement, ​sympathy, ​sadness, or that you do not ​believe something: Frank shook his ​head in ​disbelief. My ​dad shook his ​head, "No, you can't go."
  • shake verb (UPSET)

[T] to ​cause someone to ​feelupset and ​troubled: Juanita was shaken and ​tried not to ​cry. The ​instructor was shaken by the ​angry e-mails she ​received.
  • shake verb (WEAKEN)

[T] to make someone’s ​beliefs less ​certain or ​strong; to ​weaken: Nothing shook her ​conviction that there was no ​substitute for hard ​work. The ​defensefailed to shake Powell’s ​testimony.
  • shake verb (GET RID OF)

[T] to get ​rid of something, or ​escape from something: He couldn’t shake the ​feeling that ​Tony had another ​motive. I’ve had this ​cold all ​week and just can’t ​seem to shake it.

shakenoun [C]

 us   /ʃeɪk/
  • shake noun [C] (MOVEMENT)

the ​act of ​moving something ​backward and ​forward or up and down in ​quick, ​shortmovements: Give the ​bottle a shake. Maria ​answered no with a shake of her ​head.
infml A shake is a ​milkshake.
the shakes infml
The shakes is a ​condition in which most or all of ​yourbody moves ​slightly from ​cold, ​fear, or ​illness: Just ​thinking about the ​upcominginterview gave him the shakes.
(Definition of shake from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"shake" in British English

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uk   /ʃeɪk/  us   /ʃeɪk/ (shook, shaken)
  • shake verb (MOVE)

B1 [I or T] to ​movebackwards and ​forwards or up and down in ​quick, ​shortmovements, or to make something or someone do this: A ​youngboyclimbed into the ​appletree and shook the ​branches so that the ​fruitfell 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 ​itsribbon. Anna shook some ​powderedchocolate over her ​coffee. Every ​time one of these ​bigtrucks goes by, all the ​houses shake. The child's ​body was shaking withsobs.
B2 [I] If you are shaking, ​yourbody makes ​quickshortmovements, or you ​feel as if it is doing so, because you are ​frightened or ​nervous: She was shaking as she ​opened the ​letter. I was shaking in myshoes/​boots (= very ​nervous) about having to ​tell Dad what I'd done. I was shaking like a ​leaf (= very ​nervous) before the ​test.
C2 [I] If ​yourvoice shakes, it makes you ​soundnervous or ​frightened: Her ​voice shook as she ​talked about the ​person who ​attacked her.
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. "Congratulations," she said, shaking the ​winner by the ​hand.
shake hands
If two ​people shake ​hands, they ​greet each other or say ​goodbye by ​brieflyjoininghands and ​moving them ​slightly up and down: The Princess was ​photographed shaking ​hands withAIDSvictims.
shake (hands) on sth
If two ​people shake (​hands) on something, they make an ​agreement by ​brieflyjoininghands and ​moving them ​slightly up and down: It ​seems that we have a ​deal, so let's shake (​hands) on it.
shake your head
B2 to ​moveyourhead from ​side to ​side, in ​order to ​expressdisagreement, ​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.
shake your fist
to ​holdyourhand up in the ​air with ​yourfingers and ​thumbbent, and ​move it ​forcefullybackwards and ​forwards, to show that you are ​angry: He shook his ​fist at the ​driver who ​pulled out in ​front of him.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples


uk   /ʃeɪk/  us   /ʃeɪk/
[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.
the shakes [plural] informal
short, ​quickmovements from ​side to ​side that ​yourbody makes because you are ​ill, are ​frightened, or have ​drunk too much ​alcohol: I ​watched her ​hands as she ​preparedcoffee and she ​definitely had the shakes.
[C] informal a milkshake
(Definition of shake from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"shake" in Business English

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shakeverb [T]

uk   us   /ʃeɪk/
if something shakes someone's beliefs, hopes, etc., it destroys these ​feelings or makes them ​weaker: Shareholders' hopes of a quick ​profit have been badly shaken by recent ​events. The ​creditcrunch shook ​publicconfidence in the ​financialsystem.
shake hands
to ​hold someone's ​hand with one of your ​hands and ​move it up and down to greet someone or show that an ​agreement has been ​reached: shake hands with sb He waited in the ​lobby to shake ​hands with ​prospectivecustomers. After ​signing the ​contract both ​sides shook ​hands.
shake hands on sth
to ​reach an ​agreement about something: After months of ​negotiation they ​finally shook ​hands on the ​deal.
(Definition of shake from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“shake” in Business English

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