shake down


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shake down

1. verb To blackmail someone for money; to extort someone. A noun or pronoun is often used between "shake" and "down." The assistant has been shaking the governor down ever since he found out that she'd been taking bribes.
2. verb By extension, to ask, pressure, or force someone to pay a sum of money, often an exorbitant or unfair amount. A noun or pronoun is often used between "shake" and "down." I think it's criminal that the IRS gets to shake you down for so much of your hard-earned cash each year. Her private school offers the best education in the state, but they don't hesitate to shake us down for the privilege. Before you know it, the kids will be driving their own cars and shaking you down for money on the weekends.
3. verb To become acclimated, organized, or established (in something or some place new). So, how's your first week in the office been? You shaking down all right? It took us a few weeks to shake down after the move, but we're feeling right at home now.
4. verb To search someone or something thoroughly, especially for weaponry or prohibited substances. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "shake" and "down." The bouncer is shaking down everyone to make sure no one smuggles booze or drugs into the concert. The officer shook me down even though I told him I didn't have a gun on me.
5. noun An instance of blackmail for money or extorsion. As a noun, the phrase is usually written as one word. The FBI captured the shakedown on video and was able to use it at the trial.
6. noun By extension, an instance of asking, pressuring, or forcing someone to pay a sum of money, often an exorbitant or unfair amount. As a noun, the phrase is usually written as one word. It's time for the annual shakedown by the IRS again. Every time I turn around, there's another shakedown at the office for some charity or fundraiser or whatever.
See also: down, shake
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

shake someone down

 
1. to blackmail someone. (Underworld.) Fred was trying to shake Jane down, but she got the cops in on it. The police chief was trying to shake down just about everybody in town.
2. to put pressure on someone to lend one money. We tried to shake down Max for a few hundred, but no deal. If you're trying to shake me down, forget it. I have no cash.
See also: down, shake
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

shake down

1. Extort money from, as in They had quite a racket, shaking down merchants for so-called protection. [Slang; second half of 1800s]
2. Make a thorough search of, as in They shook down all the passengers, looking for drugs. [Slang early 1900s]
3. Subject a new vehicle or machine to a tryout, as in We'll shake down the new model next week.
4. Become acclimated or accustomed, to a new place, job, or the like, as in Is this your first job? You'll soon shake down. [Mid-1800s]
See also: down, shake
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

shake down

v.
1. To extort money from someone: The mob regularly sends thugs to shake down local businesses. The blackmailer shook us down for $1000.
2. To make a thorough search of someone or something: The guards shook down the prisoners' cells for hidden weapons. The airport security guards shook me down.
3. To become acclimated or accustomed, as to a new environment or a new job: We gave the new hire a few weeks to shake down before assigning her to a project.
See also: down, shake
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

shake someone down

1. tv. to blackmail someone. (Underworld.) The police chief was trying to shake down just about everybody in town.
2. tv. to put pressure on someone to lend one money. We tried to shake them down for a few hundred, but no deal.
See also: down, shake, someone

shakedown

n. an act of extortion. (Underworld.) Mary was giving Bruno the shakedown, so he tried to put her out of the way.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
How those glorious names used to shake down the thunder from the sky: Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Red Grange, Johnny Weissmuller, Bill Tilden, Tommy Hitchcock, Sonja Henie, Charlie Paddock, Bobby Jones, and Paavo Nurmi.
Finally, Bartholomew's father helps shake down the ripe apples, and the two of them enjoy an apple pie.
Who knew the Black Panthers used to confront and shake down poor Jimi for cash after his shows?
The scribe tribe was outraged, noting the idea of such a tax is to reflect the city's costs of providing additional services to business districts--not to shake down writers hammering out spec scripts at home.
"We wanted to shake down our system and figure out the costs to install, get input from consumers and salespeople, and monitor retail sales."
Nierenberg interlaces his story of gospel's coming of age with plenty of foot-pounding, handclapping tunes that let out the Spirit and shake down the rafters.
He also must have had to shake down every rollerblader on the premises to get enough wax to make that thing slide, 'cause it's ROUGH.
Bridgend driver Pesticcio, last year's Mitsubishi EVO Challenge winner, brought out his new 280 bhp EVO 7 at the popular Sweet Lamb stage during a pre-season shake down in Mid Wales.
So, with a new Kahr P9 in my possession, I set out to give it a shake down. After a few burps on the first 100 rounds, all in the form of failures-to-feed, my Kahr has ran without a problem.
"Their tactics are no better than [those of] the thugs in the 1930s who used to shake down businesses and stores for protection money."
What has been less noted is that candidates now shake down the PACs.
Solis acted as a middleman in helping Burke shake down the developer of the Old Post Office for legal work in return for Burke helping the project along, according to the indictment.
Meyers' attorney Michael Miller claimed the case is a "blatant attempt to shake down a celebrity" and they intend to fight it.
She was caught on a hidden video camera trying to shake down a reporter posing as a business for 500,000 dollars in exchange for meeting her ex-husband, Prince Andrew.
But for Saints that is not the case and Grand Final success is probably more important to Potter than to any other coach in the play-off shake down.