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shrug (one's) shoulders

To feel or display indifference, indecision, or ab inability to do something. Too many people simply shrug their shoulders when it comes to getting enough exercise. If they encounter something they can't resolve, management just shrugs their shoulders and ignores it.
See also: shoulder, shrug

shrug (someone or something) off

1. To dismiss, ignore, or minimize the importance of someone or something. I've been warning the boss about the issue for weeks, but he just keeps shrugging me off. You have to learn to shrug off the negative opinions of others if you want to succeed in this industry.
2. To rid or free oneself from someone or something that one finds unpleasant, upsetting, or annoying. My little brother has been pestering me all day, so I finally just shrugged him off and went to the gym. I've had a hard time shrugging off this cold.
See also: off, shrug

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.
See also: off, shrug

shrug off

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]
See also: off, shrug

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.
See also: shoulder, shrug

shrug off

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.
See also: off, shrug
References in periodicals archive ?
These styles won't last long so hurry ladies, choose your stylish shrug or bolero today
Ivory floral Dynasty dress, pounds 225, by Dynasty Exclusive Evening Wear, with shrug Code: rw300408Fashion-7; Black and porcelain tulle bolero bodice and skirt, pounds 495; Veni Infantino, by Ronald Joyce, with silver Dice clutch bag, pounds 29 Code: rw300408fashion-18; Veni Infantino coffee dress and shrug, pounds 329, and champ Betty Davis bag, pounds 45, in twisted orchid Code: rw300408fashion-2; Lime-green full-length dress and wrap, by Dynasty Prom Collection, pounds 199; Krystal necklace, pounds 35 Code: rw300408fashion-14; Dusky pink dress and shrug, by Dynasty Ascot collection, pounds 148, with champ Betty Davis bag, pounds 45, in twisted orchid Code: rw300408fashion-10
ADAMS: Long sleeve shrug and checked shirt set (three pieces), pounds 15, worn with cream soft tights, pounds 4, at Adams in Northumberland St' MetroCentre and branches at Blyth, Wallsend, Cramlington and Durham.
He then points to his own apartment blocks away from the window, where his wife and child live, and shrugs as if to say, "What can I do?
Wallis has a shoestring strap cami for pounds 8 and sequin shrug for pounds 25 worn with teal georgette skirt for pounds 50
Mathieu shrugs off his family to be with Cedric (Wild Reeds' Stephane Rideau), a hunky doughnut peddler he spies on the beach.
While acknowledging that consolidation-and the resulting marketing clout-- is a competitive concern, Mondavi shrugs off recent winery couplings.
While the people rage at repeated acts of arrogance by federal judges, our president shrugs, and Congress wrings its hands," Buchanan wrote.
Dancers in black pants and dark green velvet tops (by Martin Pakledinaz) come and go in recurring motifs -- semaphoring arms, winsome shoulder shrugs, spinning (Laura Dean-style), and oversized sewing gestures.
Guess the truck spooked them," Wydeven shrugs and smiles.
In the March 3 NATURE, his team describes a clear, hard coating made from two linked polymers that repels water and most solvents, does not hold paint, dirt, or tar, and even shrugs off adhesive tape.
There's a great selection of glitzy tops, pretty cam is, one-shoulder dresses, glam-tiered skirts and sequin shrugs.
Olson shrugs off his basketball skills, saying he plays simply to pass the time between one football season and another.
Shrugs are the most effective exercise for strengthening the trapezius muscle.