shake someone down

shake (one) down

1. To blackmail someone for money; to extort someone. The assistant has been shaking the governor down ever since he found out that she'd been taking bribes.
2. To force someone to pay an exorbitant or unfair amount of money. 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.
3. To ask or pressure someone for money. Before you know it, the kids will be driving their own cars and shaking you down for money on the weekends.
See also: down, shake

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