shake a disease or illness off

shake off

1. To rid or free oneself from someone or something that one finds aggravating, upsetting, or annoying. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shake" and "off." My little brother has been following me around all day. I need to shake him off. He had a hard time shaking off the feeling that someone was spying on him.
2. To shake something in order to get something off of it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shake" and "off." I had to shake off the old tarp to get the bugs and dirt off of it. Shake the blanket off before you lay it out.
3. To dislodge or get rid of something by shaking. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shake" and "off." He tried to shake the tick off, but it had dug itself into his skin. Don't shake the mud off inside—go out in the back yard and do it!
4. To recover from or fend off a disease or illness, especially a minor one. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shake" and "off." I've got to shake this tummy bug off—I can't afford to be sick before our big meeting! I've had this cold for nearly a week that I just can't seem to shake off! I could feel myself getting sick, but I managed to shake it off.
See also: off, shake

shake a disease or illness off

Fig. [for the body] to fight off a disease or illness. I thought I was catching a cold, but I guess I shook it off. I hope I can shake off this flu pretty soon.
See also: disease, illness, off, shake