shrug / shrəg/ • v. (shrugged, shrug·ging) [tr.] raise (one's shoulders) slightly and momentarily to express doubt, ignorance, or indifference: Jimmy looked inquiringly at Pete, who shrugged his shoulders | [intr.] he just shrugged and didn't look interested. ∎ (shrug something off) dismiss something as unimportant: the managing director shrugged off the criticism.• n. 1. an act or instance of shrugging one's shoulders: she gave him a dismissive shrug.2. a woman's close-fitting cardigan or jacket, cut short at the front and back so that only the arms and shoulders are covered.