shake off

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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

shake someone or something off

Fig. to get rid of someone; to get free of someone who is bothering you. Stop bothering me! What do I have to do to shake you off? I wish I could shake off John. He's such a pest!
See also: off, shake

shake something off

to get rid of something that is on one by shaking. (See also shake a disease or illness off.) I tried to shake the spider off. The dog shook off the blanket Billy had put on him.
See also: off, shake
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

shake off

Free oneself or get rid of something or someone, as in I've had a hard time shaking off this cold, or She forged ahead, shaking off all the other runners. It is also put as give someone the shake, as in We managed to give our pursuers the shake. The first term dates from the late 1300s; the slangy variant dates from the second half of the 1800s.
See also: off, 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 off

1. To shake something so as to dislodge what is on it: We shook off the picnic blanket to get rid of the grasshoppers. I picked up the beach towel and shook it off.
2. To get rid of something by shaking: The dog climbed out of the creek and shook off the water. I shook the snow off my jacket and hung it up.
3. To free oneself of something; get rid of something: We shook off our fear and proceeded into the dark cave. The injured player shook the pain off and continued to play.
See also: off, 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.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
As runners shake off the winter cob webs and hit the roads with the first spring thaw, the gusto too often gives way to grievance as overuse injuries abound.
The Dublin ace is likely to shake off a thumb injury in time to line out for Ireland against Australia at Croke Park today.
BEER lovers are trying to shake off the drink's "flat cap" image and encourage more women to raise their glasses.
His impressive ouevre, which includes five novels, a collection of poetry, essays and children's books, speaks to a sustained investment in his craft, and his commitment to fleshing out Africa's drama, specifically her struggle to shake off the terrible marks left by an unhappy intercourse with Europe.
It was not until 1992 that Albania had its first non-communist government--making it the last of the East European countries to shake off the system.
Lieberman would appeal to the highly religious of all faiths, and help the Democrats shake off their secularist tinge.
Peacock means "to shake off the bugbear of 'originality'" (26) and, in a sense, spends the whole book doing so.
Bradford v Preston Bantams' Gary MacKenzie hopes to shake off a knock while Andy Halliday and Andrew Davies are doubtful.
but has struggled to shake off his association shake off his association with Venlo in his with Venlo in his homeland.
Brown, meanwhile, has struggled to shake off a groin problem sustained recently.
United have had plenty of time to lick their wounds since the 4-0 defeat at Stoke City a fortnight ago, but at least the long gap between games due to the international fortnight has offered the likes of Ireland and Enrique the chance to shake off their injury woes.
MIROSLAV KLOSE is hoping to shake off a back injury ahead of Germany's match with Uruguay tonight in what will be his last chance to write his name in the history books of the World Cup.
Dip squid bodies and tentacles into the milk and shake off excess - then dip in the flour.
VAUXHALL Motors face promoted Gloucester City today looking to shake off their tag as the division's draw specialists.