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1. An earthquake. That was one of the worst shakes we've had in years. Go check and make sure everything in the house is intact. The shake in Tokyo was so bad that it shut down the commuter trains for two days.
2. A very brief amount of time; an instant. A: "Tom, could you get me a breakdown of our expenses for the month?" B: "No problem, boss. I'll have it over to you in a shake."
3. A deal, bargain, or treatment. My dad came with me to make sure I was getting a fair shake on the used car. He's not a bad person deep down. He just got a bad shake in life.
4. A shortening of "milkshake." I'll have a burger, a side of fries, and a chocolate shake, please.
Involuntarily trembling or shaking, as due to fear, anxiety, disease, or a reaction to (or withdrawal from) a substance, such as drugs or alcohol. I've been doing public speaking for nearly 10 years, but I still get the shakes when I have to get up in front of a packed auditorium. I'm trying to get sober and haven't had a drink in four days, but I've been having the shakes something fierce. My aunt has Parkinson's disease, and I know the shakes have made life really hard for her lately.
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Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
n. the delirium tremens. I got the shakes again. That’s what I get for putting soda water in my whiskey.
See also: shake
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.