Definition of head shaking in US English:

head shaking


  • 1The action of shaking or nodding one's head violently, vigorously, or involuntarily, especially as the result of a medical condition.

  • 2The action of shaking one's head slightly from side to side as an expression of disapproval, disagreement, sorrow, etc.; an instance of this. Hence: feeling or reaction of this type; disapproval, negativity, etc. Compare to shake one's head.

  • 3Zoology. With reference to an animal: the ritualized or instinctive action shaking the head, especially as a mutual courtship or greeting display by a pair of birds.


Late 16th century. From head + shaking.


head shaking

/ˈhɛd ˌʃeɪkɪŋ/