Main definitions of shock in English

: shock1shock2shock3

shock1

noun

  • 1A sudden upsetting or surprising event or experience:

    ‘it was a shock to face such hostile attitudes’
    • ‘Simply fill the aquarium with cold water and even some ice to avoid the shock of a sudden change of temperature, assuming this is being done late in the fall.’
    • ‘The doctors warn the children that mother must not experience any shocks or they may lose her for real this time.’
    • ‘This happens many times when a person goes through a terrible shock or experiences an incident that produces extreme fear.’
    • ‘And so nobody else has to go through this experience and the shock initially when that happens.’
    • ‘Yet I have not forgotten the experience - the shock of discovery.’
    • ‘The harshness of this incident serves to remind us what a shock reality can be.’
    • ‘Rochdale Football Club earned a shock victory over Premiership giants Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers on Sunday.’
    • ‘The morning after is one of the most serious gastronomic shocks you will ever experience.’
    • ‘In January it won a shock election victory in Halifax.’
    • ‘The oxygen deprivation and the whole shock of the experience has left him believing he is still in Belgium and that his family are alive.’
    • ‘He lost his job after a shock defeat at the local elections in June.’
    • ‘However, the doctor warns that her heart is still very weak and any sudden shocks or surprises could kill her.’
    • ‘Pain is the most primal of human experiences; the rude shock of being born is our first encounter with intense discomfort.’
    • ‘However, due to the shock of the experience and the upset caused to the young boy, the pair cut their holiday short and returned home.’
    • ‘It's a bit of a shock to experience the reality of the cruise liner rather than the fantasy - especially when the reality is just as fantastic in its own way.’
    • ‘The atmosphere was electric all night: the match was filled with shocks and surprises for everyone.’
    • ‘And over recent months, not one but several shocks have been experienced across the continent.’
    • ‘The mature students were protesting at the shock announcement of the end of childcare funding.’
    • ‘We have already had a good ration of shocks or surprises in this year's Championship and you can be certain we'll have some more.’
    • ‘You worry your system might not survive the shock if you experience too long of a lapse between nervous breakdowns.’
    blow, upset, disturbance, source of distress, source of amazement, source of consternation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A feeling of disturbed surprise resulting from a sudden upsetting event:
      ‘her death gave us all a terrible shock’
      [mass noun] ‘her eyes opened wide in shock’
      • ‘Surprisingly, once the shock disappeared and reality sunk in, tears sprang to my eyes.’
      • ‘Last night he described the announcement as a ‘shock to the system’.’
      • ‘Sputtering, he broke the surface, a look of utter shock on his face.’
      • ‘The blonde stared after her in shock for a moment, then huffed angrily.’
      • ‘The doctor had said the master was going to be fine as long as he took things a little easier, so his sudden death was a shock.’
      • ‘A visitor from Communist Eastern Europe would have suffered only the mildest culture shock.’
      • ‘And so they probably got the biggest shock of their life when he signed on the dotted line.’
      • ‘Twiddling his thumbs for long spells last season was a shock to the system.’
      • ‘Linda, in some ways more than me, has been suffering terrible culture shock.’
      • ‘Devlin caught it instantly, wearing a look of utter shock on his face.’
      • ‘Today's news will come as a considerable shock to the Scottish political system.’
      • ‘His work showed that when an organism experiences a shock or perceives a threat, it quickly releases hormones that help it to survive.’
      • ‘The reality of the fact that I could be pregnant had hit me like a ton of bricks earlier, and I was still experiencing the shock of it.’
      • ‘After the subtle shock wore off, everyone was muttering about interrupting the movie.’
      • ‘A headteacher has spoken of his shock at the sudden death of one of his popular young pupils.’
      • ‘His sudden death was a shock to the Ballyhaunis and Irish community.’
      • ‘Today was… pay day… and I got the biggest shock of my life.’
      • ‘I think you are denying the shock of this experience upon you because you speak of it in a dismissive sort of air.’
      • ‘Many more political shocks and surprises are in store, especially in a situation where all indications point to a major financial crisis in the US and the prospect of a recession.’
      • ‘He knew she was still recovering from the shock of seeing Chance and Ricky kissing.’
      • ‘She vaguely realised that she was probably experiencing a shock reaction.’
      • ‘I can never get over the shock of seeing Jake actually partake in classroom activities.’
      • ‘The shock of her outburst surprised him into letting her go.’
      • ‘Amelia stared at him in shock for a moment, hardly daring to believe.’
      fright, scare, jolt, start, state of agitation, state of perturbation, distress, consternation, panic
      blow, upset, disturbance, source of distress, source of amazement, source of consternation
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A disturbance causing instability in an economy:
      ‘trading imbalances caused by the two oil shocks’
      • ‘The economic shocks in late 2000 caused an unexpectedly sharp drop in demand, and inventory began to build up.’
      • ‘At least you can sleep at night regardless of sudden shocks on the global economic and political stage.’
      • ‘As a developing nation, Brazil has adopted punitive interest rates to stay afloat in the midst of economic shocks.’
      • ‘In the past, when India was an insulated economy, big oil shocks dented the country's national income and household savings.’
      • ‘In order to enable the Fed's policy makers to guard the economy against various shocks, economists have devised various formulas for the efficient conduct of monetary policy.’
      • ‘The need for exchange rate adjustments depends on the importance and character of economic shocks.’
      • ‘Between 1971 and 1989, the productive sector of the Australian economy experienced four major external shocks.’
      • ‘A dollar shock will be experienced only if the value jumps by a further 30 per cent.’
      • ‘The combination of the oil shock and Fed actions doomed the US to fifteen months of recession.’
      • ‘However, we are concerned that any negative shocks on the economy, such as coups, will suppress exports, increasing the coefficient from 0.78.’
      • ‘The capacity of stock markets to absorb external shocks should not surprise us.’
      • ‘It would be irresponsible to assert that information technologies can counteract any or all external economic shocks.’
      • ‘The second oil price shock was caused by the Iranian Revolution in 1979.’
      • ‘Japan's obsession with energy efficiency started when the oil shocks of the 1970s ended two decades of double-digit growth.’
      • ‘In part, the persistence reflected what was thought to be the special, and transitory, impacts from the initial oil shocks to the economy.’
      • ‘The oil price shocks of the 1970s are a good example.’
      • ‘The problem is exacerbated by the fact that Europe and Japan are also slowing, in the first concerted downturn since the oil shocks of the 1970s.’
      • ‘Another is how to protect the economy from a deflationary shock.’
      • ‘Part of the industrialised world's mistrust of Opec dates back to the oil shock of 1973 that sent the global economy into crisis.’
      • ‘These theories (and remember, they are just theories) range from economic shocks like the oil crisis of the 1970s to changes in government policy.’
    3. 1.3
      ‘the home-made lighting gave my father a shock when he touched the aquarium’
      short for electric shock
      • ‘Automated external defibrillators offer lifesaving shocks to the heart’
      • ‘Hyperosmotic shock experiments were performed according to Schuster et al.’
      • ‘If it is needed, a defibrillating shock interrupts the potentially lethal rhythm and gives it the chance to start beating normally.’
      • ‘Built-in computers analyze the person's heart rhythm and interpret the rhythms that require defibrillation shocks.’
      • ‘Then the dog received shocks from all parts of the floor at random.’
      • ‘No shocks occurred after medical therapy was optimized.’
      • ‘The osmotic shock experiment was repeated three times on each mutant.’
      • ‘This is very uncomfortable since they deliver a jolting shock.’
      • ‘It recognises the abnormal rhythm as soon as it starts and sends a small shock to the heart, which quickly stops the arrhythmia.’
      • ‘In the control group, all patients received their shocks from the ambulance personnel.’
      • ‘These electrodes serve a dual function: recording the electrocardiogram and giving a shock if indicated.’
      • ‘She caught her breath and allowed the shock to course through her.’
      • ‘A voice chip tells the user when a shock should be administered.’
      • ‘To use the electric shock machine cost one penny, but friends would join hands so that a number of people could all experience the shock for the same penny.’
      • ‘Defibrillation shocks stop the heart's waves and prevent new ones from occurring.’
      • ‘If it can be corrected, the device automatically delivers the shock.’
      • ‘Defibrillation therapy delivers such a strong shock that you may feel as if you're being kicked in the chest by a horse.’
      • ‘In this case, the sequence of shocks was terminated.’
      • ‘The success rate of surgical treatment barely exceeds that of shock wave therapy.’
      • ‘If you experience no shocks during this period, you may resume driving.’
  • 2[mass noun] An acute medical condition associated with a fall in blood pressure, caused by such events as loss of blood, severe burns, allergic reaction, or sudden emotional stress, and marked by cold, pallid skin, irregular breathing, rapid pulse, and dilated pupils:

    ‘he died of shock due to massive abdominal haemorrhage’
    • ‘When he died from shock and blood loss, she dumped his body in a local park.’
    • ‘Hypovolaemic shock follows major blood loss which may be caused by trauma or during surgery.’
    • ‘This type of treatment must only be carried out under close supervision from a doctor because of the risk that it may cause a serious allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock.’
    • ‘A post-mortem examination showed he died from water on the lungs brought about by anaphylactic shock, or allergic reaction.’
    • ‘The condition may be caused by hormonal imbalance, physical and emotional stress, infection, severe fright, shock and injury.’
    • ‘Many fighting dogs die of blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion, or infection after contests.’
    • ‘Septic shock occurs when an infection has reached the blood stream.’
    • ‘The 30-year-old man, who was driving the Jaguar, was taken to hospital with severe shock, but was later discharged.’
    • ‘Blood loss and shock display the same symptoms.’
    • ‘I have heard him lecture on malaria, septic shock, the medical significance of tattoos and the art of memoir writing.’
    • ‘Severe sepsis and septic shock are life threatening complications of infections and the most common cause of death in intensive care units.’
    • ‘Certain types of foods can cause anaphylactic shock in some people.’
    • ‘The autopsy report confirmed that Leo had died from hemorrhagic shock - heavy loss of blood.’
    • ‘In our study, however, only 1 of 11 control patients with septic shock received hydrocortisone.’
    • ‘Symptoms of shock include lethargy, rapid heartbeat, weak pulse, low blood pressure, and rapid breathing.’
    • ‘The guard was treated in hospital for severe shock and facial injuries.’
    • ‘Unconscious for three days from shock and loss of blood, he woke to find himself back in Texas at the burns centre.’
    • ‘After several days, the symptoms may progress to severe breathing problems and shock.’
    • ‘I myself was stung by some wasps and went into mild anaphylactic shock.’
    • ‘The cause of death was septic shock and irreversible heart failure.’
    • ‘Some signs of shock are large pupils, irregular breathing, and fast weak pulse.’
    • ‘They suffer anaphylactic shock, which prevents them breathing.’
    • ‘Contraindications to the vaccines can be as severe as allergic shock, collapse, seizures, permanent brain injury or death.’
    • ‘By the time she arrived she was in severe shock because of the loss of blood.’
    trauma, a state of shock, traumatism, prostration, stupor, stupefaction, collapse, breakdown
    View synonyms
  • 3A violent shaking movement caused by an impact, explosion, or tremor:

    ‘earthquake shocks’
    [mass noun] ‘rackets today don't bend or absorb shock the way wooden rackets do’
    • ‘Peeling himself off the disgusting plastic cover, Dylan shook the shock of the impact from his head and quickly regained his senses.’
    • ‘In many cases the vibrations and mechanical shocks can be dampened sufficiently with a ‘steady bench’.’
    • ‘Usually such damages will weaken the bumper's ability to absorb the shock of collision.’
    • ‘Runners should take smaller quantities more often as the shock from each impact may cause gastric stress.’
    • ‘Violent shocks punctuated the strong shaking which lasted some 45 to 60 seconds.’
    • ‘As it was, I slammed onto the floor of the shaft with my knees bent, absorbing the shock, but the force of the sudden stop pitched me forward.’
    • ‘The slaves were staring up in awe as thousands of the glowing projectiles sailed past, and the ground struck with the constant shocks of the impacts.’
    • ‘When your character is too close to a grenade or mortar going off, you'll experience a shock effect.’
    • ‘They are almost certainly unsafe, as they cannot absorb the shock of an impact, even at slow speeds.’
    • ‘It also works the leg muscles for longer periods of time than running and produces less than half the impact shock to joints that running does.’
    • ‘The shock of impact riddled both pilots with confusion, stumbling to regain control of their mechs.’
    • ‘Shock and vibration - the spacecraft will be subjected to vibration and mechanical shocks during launch and separation from the launcher.’
    • ‘This was required to be put into my mouth during bombing attacks, to cushion the shock of a bomb explosion and so prevent damage to my teeth.’
    • ‘The mountains absorbed the shock and explosive power of the ordnance.’
    • ‘Under the impact of the shock, the fish float to the surface, becoming an easy prey.’
    • ‘Information about the termination shock may also provide insight into the more powerful shocks generated by supernova explosions.’
    • ‘A very simple answer would probably be to absorb the shock of impact.’
    • ‘He crumpled to the floor to absorb the shock of the impact and whipped around with his flashlight as the horde closed rapidly.’
    • ‘That and the shock from the impact would have flattened forests over much of that part of the area.’
    • ‘Instead of traditional foam lining, the helmet uses padding to absorb the shock of a blow to the head.’
    • ‘These are designed to absorb the energy of recoil gradually, avoiding violent shock or movement of the carriage.’
    vibration, shaking movement, reverberation, shake, jolt, jar, jarring, jerk
    View synonyms
  • 4

    short for shock absorber
    • ‘The suspension is upgraded with new bushings, springs and shocks and the tuning is refined for better ride and handling.’
    • ‘Improved suspension parts ranging from bushings to springs, shocks and tires make this vehicle a stand out in terms of handling and ride quality.’
    • ‘Crew chiefs will continue to make aggressive calls, but expect engineers to focus more on mechanical grip with chassis, shocks and springs.’
    • ‘The front set-up uses struts with lower wishbones, coil springs, and hydraulic shocks.’
    • ‘I landed in the ditch with a thump, as the shocks tried to absorb the impact.’
    • ‘We just didn't have enough in the budget to fix the Charger if an axle broke or the shocks went out.’
    • ‘Such products may include oil filters, air filters, shocks, spoilers, or headlamps, as they in effect, are part of the truck.’
    • ‘A country with bad roads does not require ceramic engines; it needs vehicles with rugged axles and shocks.’
    • ‘A double wishbone front suspension and gas-filled rear shocks help absorb vibration at faster speeds while providing a smoother ride over mixed road services.’
    • ‘You know, the caked in clay inside the frame channel and bent steel brake lines and rusted shocks.’
    • ‘As the doctor discussed the medical oddity in front of him, Lamb felt a sudden shock shoot through her.’

verb

  • 1[with object] Cause (someone) to feel surprised and upset:

    ‘she was shocked at the state of his injuries’
    • ‘The element of surprise is crucial to shocking your victim.’
    • ‘I was shocked and surprised when I learnt of this fact.’
    • ‘Well, actually I'm extremely shocked and surprised because it is coming at the wrong time.’
    • ‘She was visibly upset, and it shocked me, watching her.’
    • ‘You are shocked, you are surprised, but most of all you can wonder about is if the bride's father told her to stop dating that pretty-boy loser.’
    • ‘She was shocked but not surprised about the accident on Saturday.’
    • ‘I was shocked and surprised at this whole event, the arrests, everything.’
    • ‘The credits rolled and I was shocked at the surprise ending.’
    • ‘We had a meeting to discuss the figures and people were shocked and surprised.’
    • ‘They were very private but I was still shocked and upset when I heard the news.’
    • ‘I was shocked, surprised, and still wondering how he had found me - he had just stepped out of the shadows, saving the day.’
    • ‘I am shocked and very surprised to hear this news as I am sure the rest of the cricket scene will be.’
    • ‘I was shocked, stunned and upset that she had to go through all of that.’
    • ‘‘She was extremely shocked and upset,’ said a police spokesman.’
    • ‘But this week, when he visited, he was shocked and deeply upset to find his beloved wife's grave had been used as a dumping ground for the earth which had been removed from a next door grave.’
    • ‘She couldn't handle well when she's shocked or surprised.’
    • ‘‘I was really shocked and upset when I came across a series of unpleasant e-mails about me,’ the woman said.’
    • ‘A family was shocked and upset when they returned from holiday to find their home had been trashed in a burglary.’
    • ‘I'm too shocked and upset to say any more just now.’
    • ‘We thought it was a blessing that neither of them suffered, but we were still shocked and upset.’
    1. 1.1 Offend the moral feelings of; outrage:
      ‘the revelations shocked the nation’
      • ‘It was a revelation that shocked a public that had thought itself inured to stories of criminal excess.’
      • ‘Many of your readers will have been shocked by your revelations.’
      • ‘I alternated from being shocked to outraged to saddened.’
      • ‘The report shocked the world and outraged the Arab world.’
      • ‘We of the international scientific community were shocked and outraged at the conditional approval of the project.’
      • ‘Later he became the supreme 1960s dandy subversive, shocking the nation by being the first man to use the f-word on television.’
      • ‘I know that some of you will be shocked, and others outraged - but I can assure you that I have, by no means, set out to offend.’
      • ‘I believe that future generations will be shocked and outraged that it took us so long.’
      • ‘Are you shocked at recent revelations about players, booze, and drugs?’
      • ‘I have never witnessed anything like this before in my life and was shocked and offended at the lax attitude of the policeman during all of this.’
      • ‘That documentary dished out shocking revelations as to what the state fed our children.’
      • ‘Ordinary Australians are totally shocked and outraged.’
      • ‘As people of a nation, we have always been shocked and disgusted with dirty politics.’
      • ‘The revelation has shocked environmentalists who are demanding an urgent investigation into the risks of the contamination spreading.’
      • ‘Those who might be shocked and offended by the political message will stay away.’
      • ‘He projected an unpretentious, open image, and his reputation for moral rectitude became a crucial asset for a nation still shocked by the Watergate scandal.’
      • ‘While others were quite shocked or even offended by the waitress's behaviour, I was very amused.’
      appal, horrify, scandalize, outrage, repel, revolt, disgust, nauseate, sicken, offend, give offence to, traumatize, make someone's blood run cold, distress, upset, perturb, disturb, disquiet, unsettle, discompose, agitate
      stun, rock, stagger, astound, astonish, amaze, startle, surprise, dumbfound, daze, shake, shake up, jolt, set someone back on their heels, take aback, throw, unnerve, disconcert, bewilder
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[no object] Experience outrage:
      ‘he shocked so easily’
      • ‘They have decades of experience and aren't shocked easily but they are becoming more and more disillusioned with present day Ireland.’
      • ‘I'm not easily shocked but the pumpkin story was a case of ‘too much information’, to use the expression de nos jours.’
      • ‘Not for the easily shocked, his four-letter tirades - which prompted one walk-out - were interspersed by a spate of ingenious gags.’
      • ‘I am not easily shocked, but samples of lyrics from the songs on this list blew me away.’
      • ‘It is good that we are no longer so easily shocked.’
      • ‘And even though I'm not easily shocked, I'm easily embarrassed.’
      • ‘I'm not easily shocked, but when mum asked if I thought she should get a tattoo, I was mildly surprised and not a little curious.’
      • ‘The former Army colour sergeant who has served in the Middle and Far East with the Royal Marines and Royal Military Police, is not easily shocked.’
      • ‘I'm not easily shocked, but this absolutely horrible film took my breath away.’
      • ‘Perhaps it is a case of the British becoming more blasé, less easily shocked than the national stereotype and a mountain of British farces on stage and screen would have you believe.’
  • 2Affect with physiological shock, or with an electric shock:

    ‘if a patient is deeply shocked, measurement of blood pressure may be difficult’
    • ‘I felt like I've been shocked with electricity, but I tried to be as calm as possible.’
    • ‘It may also be good for the Democrats, who could use a jolt of electricity to shock them out of their smug complacency.’
    • ‘One person, identified in court documents as an inmate named Rasheed, told lawyers his tongue was shocked with electricity and his toenails pulled out.’
    • ‘They draw power from nearby electricity lines to shock the fish.’
    • ‘They weren't just being thrown, it was if they were being shocked by high-voltage electricity.’
    • ‘Last year I developed an abnormal heart rhythm and had to be shocked with electrocardioversion to get back into normal rhythm.’
    • ‘The electric current shocks the sweat glands, and they stop producing sweat temporarily.’
    • ‘His heart was electrically shocked back to a normal rhythm.’
    • ‘The treatment, which essentially involves shocking the brain with electricity, was very effective in tackling depression, she and her husband were told.’
    • ‘They're using electrical prods to shock the fish, which has very negative long term effects on the fish population.’
    • ‘Faye screamed as the lightning went through her body as electricity shocked her entire body.’
    • ‘Implanted in the chest, the ICD is a small electronic device which shocks the heart back into a healthy rhythm if it detects an abnormal heartbeat.’
    • ‘Those who survived reported being brutally beaten, shocked with electrodes, subjected to sexual abuse and kept naked in cells with little or no food or water.’
    • ‘Patients who remain shocked after 3 litres of intravenous fluid usually have continued bleeding and require urgent laparotomy.’
    • ‘She testified that another girl held in the same facility was hung upside down, naked and shocked repeatedly with the electric prod.’
    • ‘We backed away from each other like we just got shocked by electricity, both blushing like crazy.’
  • 3archaic [no object] Collide violently:

    ‘carriage after carriage shocked fiercely against the engine’

Phrases

  • short, sharp shock

    • A brief but harsh custodial sentence intended to discourage an offender from committing further offences:

      ‘the short, sharp shock didn't affect me—I carried on stealing’
      • ‘‘This is a case where a short, sharp shock is all that is needed, bearing in mind his relatively young age and his background generally,’ said the spokesman.’
      • ‘A short, sharp shock is all very well, but a couple of millennia of rather extreme corporal punishments haven't exactly shown us that prison provides much by way of rehab.’
  • shock horror!

    • informal Used ironically to express that something is not surprising or upsetting:

      ‘they got drunk—shock horror!’
      • ‘I don't recall one pink bike, but then as most bikes were passed down to the next child or—shock horror—shared, the colour needed to suit either gender.’
      • ‘I got to do the last few weeks of Year 6 where, shock horror, I discover that the book we are to read for English is none other than an old classic.’
      • ‘I ended up—shock horror—actually liking people from other clubs.’
      • ‘Everyone was lovely and I actually had a good time (shock horror).’
      • ‘The detox queen has revealed that—shock horror—if she has more than a couple of glasses of wine when she gets home at night, she is liable to eat a whole bag of chocolates.’
      • ‘I managed to emerge with jeans that actually, shock horror, fit me and looked quite good.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: from French choc (noun), choquer (verb), of unknown origin. The original senses were ‘throw (troops) into confusion by charging at them’ and ‘an encounter between charging forces’, giving rise to the notion of ‘sudden violent blow or impact’.

Pronunciation:

shock

/ʃɒk/

Main definitions of shock in English

: shock1shock2shock3

shock2

noun

  • A group of twelve sheaves of grain placed upright and supporting each other to allow the grain to dry and ripen.

    • ‘This accumulation of the bundles in the field was a big help for the manual labor which is what it took to assemble grain shocks from all those bundles!’
    • ‘The field of wheat is well in the foreground, diversified and defined by the shocks of grain to the right.’
    • ‘The grain shocks would be off-loaded into the thrashing machines.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Arrange (sheaves of grain) in a shock:

    ‘the grain is shocked in the field after it is cut’
    • ‘During harvest time they were shocking bundles of grain and hauling them to the threshing outfit and pitching them into the separator.’
    • ‘One story accounts that Thomas refused to go to the fort until after his grain was shocked.’
    • ‘The majority of the farmers will use ‘Headers,’ thus saving the expense of binding and shocking the grain.’
    • ‘Michael showed me how to cut oats with the horse-drawn grain binder and shock the bundles to dry.’

Origin

Middle English: perhaps from Middle Dutch, Middle Low German schok, of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

shock

/ʃɒk/

Main definitions of shock in English

: shock1shock2shock3

shock3

noun

  • An unkempt or thick mass of hair:

    ‘a man with a shock of ginger hair’
    • ‘A shock of raven-black hair gripped his scalp tightly and fell down past his shoulders.’
    • ‘At a party I met a striking young woman whose hair escaped in a shock of dark anarchic curls.’
    • ‘I noticed him, at first, because of his shock of white hair.’
    • ‘Shorter than any of the others, her head was adorned with a shock of black hair.’
    • ‘His shock of black hair looked windswept, and beneath it, his eyes peered out curiously from behind wire-frame glasses.’
    • ‘He has a shock of black hair and streaks of dirt running down his arms and chest.’
    • ‘His shock of black hair covered his forehead, ending just above two bright amber eyes.’
    • ‘His eyes were blue and shone through a shock of thick ebony black hair.’
    • ‘A shock of black hair sat atop his head and his face was littered with soft brown freckles.’
    • ‘He had a thick shock of dark brown hair, with a little gray peeking in around his temples and just above his ears.’
    • ‘He has a shock of thick snow-blond hair that is certain to attract the others in white.’
    • ‘A shock of black hair, like healthy lunar wheat, frames her features.’
    • ‘Misty, hazel eyes brightened in delight at the sight of the girls and he quickly reached up a hand to try to tidy his shock of black hair.’
    • ‘When I open them again, I'm greeted with a pair of worried black eyes surrounded by a shock of black hair.’
    • ‘Almost immediately I saw a shock of red hair appear from behind a beam.’
    • ‘The other man though, was taller, he seemed about 6 feet tall, or close to it, and he had a shock of black hair and he had bright green eyes.’
    • ‘His black hair was pulled into a high ponytail and a shock of his unusual red bangs hung slightly into his striking, bright blue eyes.’
    • ‘Amongst those in the queue is a tall woman with a shock of black hair.’
    • ‘He is handsome, with high cheekbones, a strong chin, and a shock of thick hair, and he stares with a slight frown at something in the distance.’
    • ‘His skin was so pale white and atop his head sat a shock of hair as black as the night sky.’
    mass, mane, mop, thatch, head, crop, bush, cloud, frizz, fuzz, foam, curls, tangle, chaos, cascade, quiff, halo
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 17th century: origin uncertain; compare with obsolete shough, denoting a breed of lapdog. The word originally denoted a dog with long shaggy hair, and was then used as an adjective meaning ‘unkempt, shaggy’. The current sense dates from the early 19th century.

Pronunciation:

shock

/ʃɒk/