Definition of shaky in US English:



  • 1Shaking or trembling.

    ‘she managed a shaky laugh’
    • ‘The nurse came in and introduced herself, and with a shaky hand I shook hers.’
    • ‘I took a shaky breath and with a trembling hand, I took out the paper once more, my eyes skimming over the quickly written words.’
    • ‘He gripped the steering wheel, letting out a shaky little laugh before speaking.’
    • ‘I let out a shaky laugh and pulled away so that I could look up at him.’
    • ‘She touched her lips with shaky fingers, lips quivering as the tears ran past them.’
    • ‘She managed a shaky smile, and held out a trembling hand - the one that she wasn't gripping Greg's with - for me to shake.’
    • ‘I shook my head, pointing a shaky finger towards the box.’
    • ‘My legs felt weak, my body shaky, and I wasn't sure whether I was hot or cold.’
    • ‘He was trembling and his breathing was shallow and shaky.’
    • ‘When they parted, the two gave a small, shaky, yet happy laugh.’
    • ‘He leaned against the table and tried to find a chair to sit on, but his legs were too shaky and weak to even bend.’
    • ‘He still felt weak and shaky, as if he had recovered from the flu.’
    • ‘He looked up surprised, shook his head and gave out a shaky laugh.’
    • ‘Instead, from what I could make out over the music, her voice sounded shaky and weak.’
    • ‘I was still feeling weak and shaky, but I wasn't worried about it.’
    • ‘Hannah's voice trembled as she said this and she took shaky steps toward her sister's bedroom door.’
    • ‘A shaky laugh bubbles past his lips, and dizzy words start tumbling out of him.’
    • ‘Gavin's voice sounds miraculous, the low baritone of it trembling in my already shaky spine, and I needed him here.’
    • ‘It's two in the afternoon, now, and I still feel shaky and weak.’
    • ‘The old man laughed as well, a strange, shaky laugh that went along with his accent.’
    trembling, shaking, tremulous, quivering, quivery, unsteady, wobbly, weak
    faint, dizzy, light-headed, giddy
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    1. 1.1 Unstable because of poor construction or heavy use.
      ‘a cracked, dangerously shaky table’
      • ‘Although it looked a little unstable and shaky, it would last the night.’
      • ‘He was simply relating an event as if explaining he had spilled his coffee because the table was shaky.’
      • ‘I'm writing this by the moonlight of an open window at a shaky table with a broken leg.’
      unsteady, unstable, wobbly, precarious, rocky, rickety, flimsy, frail
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    2. 1.2 Not safe or reliable; liable to fail or falter.
      ‘thoroughly shaky evidence’
      ‘Burns overcame a shaky start to beat the Red Sox’
      • ‘So with a shaky resolution and with a will that was even more frail, I took the first step.’
      • ‘The evening got off to a shaky start as our table wasn't ready, and the restaurant was unfazed by this.’
      • ‘The second step was to jettison arguments that rested on shaky evidence.’
      • ‘Although it's fairly obvious that he's innocent and that the evidence against him's shaky at best, the victim IDs him and he's sent to a holding cell to await trial.’
      • ‘In Orchestra Rehearsal, the quaking building manifests the orchestra's shaky social ground.’
      • ‘Financially, Civil War History had continued on shaky financial grounds.’
      • ‘They then found more evidence of shaky business practices, and decided to file an official complaint against the company.’
      • ‘These unreliable claims are based on incomplete, shaky evidence.’
      • ‘Unless a judge agrees that they fulfill a special need, the screenings will be on shaky legal ground.’
      • ‘Some were very shaky and unstable, others were convoluted, and a few were both!’
      • ‘The intellectual biography of the curator has to be on shaky ground.’
      • ‘Secondly, I think that it's on very, very shaky ground without constitutional authorization.’
      • ‘But start talking about who did it, and you might be on shaky ground.’
      • ‘Two painkillers and some cold water later, she made her shaky way down the precarious steps into the living room.’
      • ‘The many cases in which shaky evidence was sold to the public have not just been ruses concocted by spin doctors to win over public opinion.’
      • ‘Although we now have eight parties with representation, some of the smaller ones might be on shaky ground.’
      • ‘In fact, the board's support for a spring academic freedom conference has been shaky, making the organising quite precarious.’
      • ‘Mounting debt, accumulated over the past few years, coupled with reports of unpaid performers had put the event on shaky ground.’
      • ‘Those negotiations are, you know, on shaky ground now, but these are the only two parties.’
      • ‘After this the Blues were shaky, losing too many penalty corners and unable to connect passes.’
      faltering, unsteady, uncertain, tentative, wobbly, wobbling, tottering, tottery, teetering, doddering, doddery, shaking, staggering
      unreliable, untrustworthy, questionable, dubious, doubtful, tenuous, suspect, unsubstantial, flimsy, weak, nebulous, unsound, undependable, unsupported, unsubstantiated, ungrounded, unfounded
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