shrug(redirected from shrugging)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
shrug something off (as something)and pass something off (as something)
to ignore something unpleasant or offensive as if it meant something else. She shrugged off the criticism as harmless. I passed off the remark as misinformed. Bill scolded me, but I just passed it off.
shrug your shoulders
to not care or feel unable to do anything The reason most people aren't excited about the election is that both candidates leave them shrugging their shoulders.Related vocabulary: shrug something off
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of shrug your shoulders (to move your shoulders up as you move your head down to show you do not care or are discouraged)
shrug something offalso shrug off something
to act as if something is unimportant or not a problem Although constantly troubled by a lack of money, he was able to shrug it off with a joke. The runner has been trying hard to shrug off a back injury that doesn't seem to go away.Related vocabulary: shrug your shoulders
1. Minimize the importance of, as in That nasty review didn't bother him at all; he just shrugged it off. [Early 1900s]
2. Get rid of, as in She managed to shrug off her drowsiness and keep driving. [Mid-1900s]
3. Wriggle out of a garment, as in He shrugged off his coat. [First half of 1900s]
shrug one's shoulders
Show indecision or indifference, as in When I asked her if she minded staying home, she just shrugged her shoulders. This redundant idiom- shrug means "to raise and contract the shoulders"-dates from about 1450.
1. To dismiss something with a gesture of doubt, disdain, or indifference: She shrugged off her mother's advice. Rather than respond to their insults, he just shrugged them off and kept walking.
2. To minimize the importance of something: The coach shrugged off the defeat and talked about the team's improvement. The politician shrugged the allegations off, calling them absurd.
3. To get rid of something: I hope that I can shrug off this cold before the game next weekend. I began to feel sleepy, but I shrugged it off and kept driving.
4. To wriggle out of some clothing: He shrugged off his shirt and put it in the laundry basket. She shrugged her coat off and hung it in the closet.