shake


shake
shake vb 1 Shake, tremble, quake, totter, quiver, shiver, shudder, quaver, wobble, teeter, shimmy, dither are comparable when they mean to exhibit vibratory, wavering, or oscillating movement often as an evidence of instability.
Shake, the ordinary and the comprehensive term, can apply to any such movement, often with a suggestion of roughness and irregularity
{

the earth itself seemed to shake beneath my feet— Hudson

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{

he shook with fear

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{

his body shook with laughter

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Tremble applies specifically to a slight, rapid shaking of the human body, especially when one is agitated or unmanned (as by fear, passion, cold, or fatigue)
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she stood with her hand on the doorknob, her whole body tremblingAnderson

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{

she is so radiant in her pure beauty that the limbs of the young man trembleMeredith

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The term may apply also to things that shake in a manner suggestive of human trem-bling
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not a breath of breeze even yet ruffled the water: but momentarily it trembled of its own accord, shattering the reflections— Richard Hughes

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Quake may be used in place of tremble but it commonly carries a stronger implication of violent shaking or of extreme agitation
{

his name was a terror that made the dead quake in their graves— Ouida

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{

his accusing hand . . . stiffly extended, quaking in mute condemnation—Terry Southern

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Often the term suggests either an internal convulsion (as an earthquake or something suggestive of one) or an external event which rocks a person or thing to its foundations
{

the sounding of the clock in Venice Preserved makes the hearts of the whole audience quakeAddison

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{

I thought of the sounds that must be coming from those men, and at that thought my insides quaked; I thanked God we couldn't hear them— Kenneth Roberts

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Totter usually suggests great physical weakness (as that associated with infancy, extreme old age, or disease); it therefore often connotes a shaking that makes movement extremely difficult and uncertain or that forebodes a fall or collapse
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the mast tottered before it fell

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the little calf that's standing by the mother . . . totters when she licks it with her tongue— Frost

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Quiver suggests a slight, very rapid shaking comparable to the vibration of the strings of a musical instrument; it differs from tremble chiefly in being more often applied to things
{

aspen leaves quiver in the slightest breeze

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{

it is not a dead mass of stone and metal, but a living thing, quivering and humming like a great ship at sea. A splendid piece of architecture— Highet

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or in carrying a less necessary suggestion of fear or passion and a stronger implication of emotional tension
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the little boy's lips quivered as he tried not to cry

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I was quivering and tingling from head to foot— Kipling

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{

eagerness that made their flanks quiverRoberts

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Seymour sat whimpering and quivering with panic and temper and discomfort— Davenport

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Shiver and shudder usually imply a momentary or shortlived quivering, especially of the flesh. Shiver typically suggests the effect of cold
{

came into the house snow-covered and shivering

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but it may apply to a similar quivering that results from an emotional or mental cause (as an anticipation, a premonition, a foreboding, or a vague fear)
{

such thoughts . . . may make you shiver at first— Montague

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{

he shivered with pleasure as he conceived robberies, assaults—murders if it had to be—Malamud

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or to a sudden, often seeming, quivering of a thing
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his heart shivered, as a ship shivers at the mountainous crash of the waters— Bennett

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{

when the first star shivers and the last wave pales— Flecker

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Shudder usually suggests the effect of something horrible or revolting; physically it implies a sudden sharp quivering that for the moment affects the entire body or mass
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the splotched shadow of the heaven tree shuddered and pulsed monstrously in scarce any wind— Faulkner

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"I am afraid of it," she answered, shudderingDickens

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it was one of those illnesses from which we turn away our eyes, shudderingDeland

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{

the chill of an age-old recognition shuddered my spine; a voice was sounding in the dimly lit air— Miller

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Quaver sometimes implies irregular vibration or fluctuation, especially as an effect of something that disturbs
{

the breeze ... set the flames of the streetlamps quaveringStevenson

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but often it stresses tremulousness especially in reference to voices and utterances affected by weakness or emotion
{

a reedy, quavering voice— Doyle

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{

dread returned, and the words quavered as she spoke them— Meredith

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{

the quavering, envenomed voice of . . . Scrooge— Styron

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Wobble implies an unsteadiness that shows itself in tottering, or in a quivering characteristic of a mass of soft flesh or of a soft jelly, or in a shakiness characteristic of rickety furniture
{

this table wobbles

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{

bumping when she trots, and wobbling when she canters— Whyte-Melville

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{

antique French automobiles wobbling giddily along the roads— Panter-Downes

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{

picked up his glass and half emptied it. His hand wobbled so that some of it ran down his chin— Charteris

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Teeter implies an unsteadiness that reveals itself in seesawing motions
{

an inebriated man teetering as he stands

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{

stood on chairs and teetered on stepladders— Dos Passos

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Shimmy suggests the fairly violent shaking of the body from the shoulders down which is characteristic of the dance of that name and, therefore, may suggest vibratory motions of an abnormal nature
{

all kinds of starlets get an opportunity to shimmy around for the edification of Pharaoh and his court— McCarten

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{

a lizard shimmied across her path— Millar

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{

I often see the walls of my house shimmying a bit— Lucas

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{

the shimmying of unbalanced front wheels of an automobile

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Dither implies a shaking or a hesitant vacillating movement often as a result of nervousness, confusion, or lack of purpose (dithering to his feet, he crept downstairs— Cronin)
Analogous words: oscillate, fluctuate, vibrate, waver, *swing, sway
2 Shake, agitate, rock, convulse can mean to cause to move to and fro or up and down with more or less violence.
Shake, the most general of these words, in its specific senses usually retains this basic meaning
{

as there is a high wind blowing nearly all the time, the nests are continually shakenSeago

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but it seldom conveys merely this idea. Very often its meaning is narrowed but enriched by an implication of the particular intent or purpose of the movement; thus, to shake a rug implies an intent to dislodge dust; to shake a tree, to bring down its fruit; to shake a cocktail, to mix ingredients; to shake hands, to greet or to acknowledge an introduction; to shake one's fist, to threaten. Even in its extended use shake commonly implies movement, usually physical movement
{

he was visibly shaken by the news

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{

the exposure of unsuspected depravity in the highest circles shook the social fabric to its foundations— Lucius Beebe

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{

just one single example of real unreason is enough to shake our belief in everything— Theodore Sturgeon

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Agitate usually carries a much stronger implication of tossing or of violent stirring than shake; it often also suggests a prolongation of the movement
{

a churn has a dasher for agitating cream

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{

the leaves on the trees were agitated as if by a high wind— Hudson

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{

brown water in the basin . . . slightly agitated by concentric ripples, as though someone had recently thrown a stone into it— James Helvick

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When the recipient of the action is a person agitate connotes emotional disturbance or excitement
{

he started a discussion which has agitated thinkers ever since— Whitehead

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{the physician interposes, frightens the family, agitates the patient to the utmost— Overstreet)Rock suggests a swinging or swaying motion; it tends to lose the implication of lulling derived from its earliest associations with the movement of a cradle and to emphasize those of upheaving, derived from the violent swaying (as of a ship in a storm or of the earth in an earthquake)
{

the wind rocked the house

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{

the entire city was rocked by the explosion

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{

Tokyo rocks under the weight of our bombs— Truman

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Often, especially in extended use, rock suggests, as shake does not, tottering and peril of falling
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the stock market was rocked by the rumor of war

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{

constant insinuations finally rocked his faith in his friend

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{

the explosions that rock the world today are nothing less than the stirring of the common man the world over— Hansen

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Convulse often implies more violence in the motion than any of the others; it also commonly suggests a pulling to and fro or a wrenching or twisting (as of the body in a paroxysm or of the earth in seismic disturbances)
{

Lucetta . . . convulsed on the carpet in the paroxysms of an epileptic seizure— Hardy

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{

they were convulsed with laughter

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{

the ferment of change that has convulsed, distorted, and reshaped our twentieth-century world—/!. E. Stevenson

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Analogous words: *move, drive, impel: flourish, brandish, *swing, wave: disturb, derange, unsettle, *disorder
3 *swing, wave, flourish, brandish, thrash

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • shake — ► VERB (past shook; past part. shaken) 1) move quickly and jerkily up and down or to and fro. 2) tremble uncontrollably with strong emotion. 3) make a threatening gesture with: he shook his fist. 4) remove or dislodge by shaking. 5) shock or… …   English terms dictionary

  • shake — [shāk] vt. shook, shaken, shaking [ME schaken < OE sceacan, akin to LowG schaken < IE * skeg , var. of base * skek > SHAG1] 1. to cause to move up and down, back and forth, or from side to side with short, quick movements 2. to bring,… …   English World dictionary

  • Shake — Shake, v. t. [imp. {Shook}; p. p. {Shaken}, ({Shook}, obs.); p. pr. & vb. n. {Shaking}.] [OE. shaken, schaken, AS. scacan, sceacan; akin to Icel. & Sw. skaka, OS. skakan, to depart, to flee. [root]161. Cf. {Shock}, v.] 1. To cause to move with… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shake — [ʆeɪk] verb shook PASTTENSE [ʆʊk] shaken PASTPART [ˈʆeɪkən] [transitive] if something shakes people s confidence, hopes, belief etc, it makes them feel less confident, hopeful etc: • Consumer confidence has been badly shaken by fears of …   Financial and business terms

  • Shake — «Shake» Sencillo de Jesse McCartney del álbum Have It All Publicación 21 de septiembre, 2010[1] Formato Descarga digital …   Wikipedia Español

  • Shake — 〈[ ʃɛık]〉 I 〈m. 6〉 1. Gesellschaftstanz mit schüttelnden Körperbewegungen 2. Mixgetränk (MilchShake) 3. Zittern, Schüttelfrost (als Folge häufigen Drogenkonsums) II 〈n. 15; Jazz〉 Vibrato, Triller über einer Note …   Universal-Lexikon


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