shake / shāk/ • v. (past shook / shoŏk/ ; past part. shak·en / ˈshākən/ ) 1. [intr.] (of a structure or area of land) tremble or vibrate: buildings shook in Sacramento and tremors were felt in Reno. ∎ [tr.] cause to tremble or vibrate: a severe earthquake shook the area. ∎ (of a person, a part of the body, or the voice) tremble uncontrollably from a strong emotion such as fear or anger: Luke was shaking with rage her voice shook with passion.2. [tr.] move (an object) up and down or from side to side with rapid, forceful, jerky movements: she stood in the hall and shook her umbrella. ∎ [tr.] remove (an object or substance) from something by movements of this kind: they shook the sand out of their shoes. ∎ inf. get rid of or put an end to (something unwanted): he was unable to shake off the memories of the trenches. ∎ grasp (someone) and move them roughly to and fro, either in anger or to rouse them from sleep: [tr.] he gently shook the driver awake and they set off. ∎ brandish in anger or as a warning; make a threatening gesture with: men shook their fists and shouted.3. [tr.] upset the composure of; shock or astonish: rumors of a further loss shook the market the fall shook him up quite badly | [as adj.] (shaken) she was visibly shaken and upset when she returned. ∎ [tr.] cause a change of mood or attitude by shocking or disturbing (someone): he had to shake himself out of his lethargy. ∎ weaken or impair (confidence, a belief, etc.), esp. by shocking or disturbing: the escalation in costs is certain to shake the confidence of private investors.• n. 1. an act of shaking: with a shake of its magnificent antlers the stag charged down the slope | camera shake causes the image to become blurred. ∎ inf. an earth tremor. ∎ an amount of something that is sprinkled by shaking a container: add a few shakes of sea salt and black pepper. ∎ short for milk shake. ∎ (the shakes) inf. a fit of trembling or shivering: I wouldn't go in there, it gives me the shakes.2. Mus. a trill.PHRASES: get (or give someone) a fair shake inf. get (or give someone) just treatment or a fair chance: I do not believe he gave the industry a fair shake.in two shakes (of a lamb's tail) inf. very quickly: I'll be back to you in two shakes.more —— than one can shake a stick at inf. used to emphasize the largeness of an amount: a team with more experience than you can shake a stick at.no great shakes inf. not very good or significant: it is no great shakes as a piece of cinema.shake the dust off one's feet leave indignantly or disdainfully.shake hands (with someone) (or shake someone by the hand or shake someone's hand) clasp someone's right hand in one's own at meeting or parting, in reconciliation or congratulation, or as a sign of agreement.shake one's head turn one's head from side to side in order to indicate refusal, denial, disapproval, or incredulity: she shook her head in disbelief.shake (or quake) in one's shoes (or boots) tremble with apprehension.shake a leg inf. make a start; rouse oneself: come on, shake a leg.PHRASAL VERBS: shake down become established in a new place or situation; settle down: it was disruptive to the industry as it was shaking down after deregulation.shake someone down inf. extort money from someone.shake something down cause something to fall or settle by shaking.shake someone off get away from someone by shaking their grip loose. ∎ manage to evade or outmaneuver someone who is following or pestering one: he thought he had shaken off his pursuer. ∎ (in sports, esp. a race) outdistance another competitor: in the final lap she looked as though she had shaken off the Dutch girl.shake something off successfully deal with or recover from an illness or injury: she has shaken off a virus.shake on inf. confirm (an agreement) by shaking hands: they shook on the deal.shake out eventually prove to happen: we'll see what shakes out.shake something out1. empty something out by shaking a container: he shook out a handful of painkillers.2. spread or open something such as a cloth or garment by shaking it: she shook out the newspaper. ∎ restore something crumpled to its natural shape by shaking: she undid her helmet and shook out her frizzled hair. ∎ Sailing unwind or untie a reef to increase the area of a sail.shake someone up rouse someone from lethargy, apathy, or complacency: he had to do something to shake the team up—we lacked spark.shake something up1. mix ingredients by shaking: use soap flakes shaken up in the water to make bubbles.2. make radical changes to the organization or structure of an institution or system: he presented plans to shake up the legal profession.
Hence shaky (-Y1) XVIII.