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 when I arrived’
    • ‘The morning after is one of the most serious gastronomic shocks you will ever experience.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In January it won a shock election victory in Halifax.’
    • ‘Yet I have not forgotten the experience - the shock of discovery.’
    • ‘Rochdale Football Club earned a shock victory over Premiership giants Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers on Sunday.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And over recent months, not one but several shocks have been experienced across the continent.’
    • ‘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 atmosphere was electric all night: the match was filled with shocks and surprises for everyone.’
    • ‘This happens many times when a person goes through a terrible shock or experiences an incident that produces extreme fear.’
    • ‘The harshness of this incident serves to remind us what a shock reality can be.’
    • ‘The doctors warn the children that mother must not experience any shocks or they may lose her for real this time.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The mature students were protesting at the shock announcement of the end of childcare funding.’
    • ‘And so nobody else has to go through this experience and the shock initially when that happens.’
    • ‘You worry your system might not survive the shock if you experience too long of a lapse between nervous breakdowns.’
    • ‘He lost his job after a shock defeat at the local elections in June.’
    blow, upset, disturbance, source of distress, source of amazement, source of consternation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A feeling of disturbed surprise resulting from an upsetting event.
      ‘her death gave us all a terrible shock’
      [mass noun] ‘her eyes opened wide in shock’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Twiddling his thumbs for long spells last season was a shock to the system.’
      • ‘Last night he described the announcement as a ‘shock to the system’.’
      • ‘The shock of her outburst surprised him into letting her go.’
      • ‘After the subtle shock wore off, everyone was muttering about interrupting the movie.’
      • ‘His work showed that when an organism experiences a shock or perceives a threat, it quickly releases hormones that help it to survive.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Today was… pay day… and I got the biggest shock of my life.’
      • ‘I can never get over the shock of seeing Jake actually partake in classroom activities.’
      • ‘Amelia stared at him in shock for a moment, hardly daring to believe.’
      • ‘A visitor from Communist Eastern Europe would have suffered only the mildest culture shock.’
      • ‘A headteacher has spoken of his shock at the sudden death of one of his popular young pupils.’
      • ‘Sputtering, he broke the surface, a look of utter shock on his face.’
      • ‘She vaguely realised that she was probably experiencing a shock reaction.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And so they probably got the biggest shock of their life when he signed on the dotted line.’
      • ‘I think you are denying the shock of this experience upon you because you speak of it in a dismissive sort of air.’
      • ‘The blonde stared after her in shock for a moment, then huffed angrily.’
      • ‘He knew she was still recovering from the shock of seeing Chance and Ricky kissing.’
      • ‘His sudden death was a shock to the Ballyhaunis and Irish community.’
      • ‘Surprisingly, once the shock disappeared and reality sunk in, tears sprang to my eyes.’
      • ‘Linda, in some ways more than me, has been suffering terrible culture shock.’
    2. 1.2An acute medical condition associated with a fall in blood pressure, caused by such events as loss of blood, severe burns, bacterial infection, 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 hemorrhage’
      • ‘In our study, however, only 1 of 11 control patients with septic shock received hydrocortisone.’
      • ‘The 30-year-old man, who was driving the Jaguar, was taken to hospital with severe shock, but was later discharged.’
      • ‘Hypovolaemic shock follows major blood loss which may be caused by trauma or during surgery.’
      • ‘By the time she arrived she was in severe shock because of the loss of blood.’
      • ‘Many fighting dogs die of blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion, or infection after contests.’
      • ‘The cause of death was septic shock and irreversible heart failure.’
      • ‘Septic shock occurs when an infection has reached the blood stream.’
      • ‘I myself was stung by some wasps and went into mild anaphylactic shock.’
      • ‘Severe sepsis and septic shock are life threatening complications of infections and the most common cause of death in intensive care units.’
      • ‘Unconscious for three days from shock and loss of blood, he woke to find himself back in Texas at the burns centre.’
      • ‘A post-mortem examination showed he died from water on the lungs brought about by anaphylactic shock, or allergic reaction.’
      • ‘The autopsy report confirmed that Leo had died from hemorrhagic shock - heavy loss of blood.’
      • ‘Some signs of shock are large pupils, irregular breathing, and fast weak pulse.’
      • ‘After several days, the symptoms may progress to severe breathing problems and shock.’
      • ‘Symptoms of shock include lethargy, rapid heartbeat, weak pulse, low blood pressure, and rapid breathing.’
      • ‘They suffer anaphylactic shock, which prevents them breathing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The guard was treated in hospital for severe shock and facial injuries.’
      • ‘The condition may be caused by hormonal imbalance, physical and emotional stress, infection, severe fright, shock and injury.’
      • ‘Contraindications to the vaccines can be as severe as allergic shock, collapse, seizures, permanent brain injury or death.’
      • ‘When he died from shock and blood loss, she dumped his body in a local park.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Certain types of foods can cause anaphylactic shock in some people.’
    3. 1.3A disturbance causing instability in an economy.
      ‘trading imbalances caused by the two oil shocks’
      • ‘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 economic shocks in late 2000 caused an unexpectedly sharp drop in demand, and inventory began to build up.’
      • ‘Part of the industrialised world's mistrust of Opec dates back to the oil shock of 1973 that sent the global economy into crisis.’
      • ‘However, we are concerned that any negative shocks on the economy, such as coups, will suppress exports, increasing the coefficient from 0.78.’
      • ‘Another is how to protect the economy from a deflationary shock.’
      • ‘At least you can sleep at night regardless of sudden shocks on the global economic and political stage.’
      • ‘A dollar shock will be experienced only if the value jumps by a further 30 per cent.’
      • ‘The need for exchange rate adjustments depends on the importance and character of economic shocks.’
      • ‘The capacity of stock markets to absorb external shocks should not surprise us.’
      • ‘As a developing nation, Brazil has adopted punitive interest rates to stay afloat in the midst of economic shocks.’
      • ‘These theories (and remember, they are just theories) range from economic shocks like the oil crisis of the 1970s to changes in government policy.’
      • ‘In part, the persistence reflected what was thought to be the special, and transitory, impacts from the initial oil shocks to the economy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Japan's obsession with energy efficiency started when the oil shocks of the 1970s ended two decades of double-digit growth.’
      • ‘Between 1971 and 1989, the productive sector of the Australian economy experienced four major external shocks.’
      • ‘It would be irresponsible to assert that information technologies can counteract any or all external economic shocks.’
      • ‘The oil price shocks of the 1970s are a good example.’
      • ‘The combination of the oil shock and Fed actions doomed the US to fifteen months of recession.’
      • ‘In the past, when India was an insulated economy, big oil shocks dented the country's national income and household savings.’
      • ‘The second oil price shock was caused by the Iranian Revolution in 1979.’
    4. 1.4
      short for electric shock
      • ‘It recognises the abnormal rhythm as soon as it starts and sends a small shock to the heart, which quickly stops the arrhythmia.’
      • ‘Hyperosmotic shock experiments were performed according to Schuster et al.’
      • ‘Automated external defibrillators offer lifesaving shocks to the heart’
      • ‘This is very uncomfortable since they deliver a jolting shock.’
      • ‘Defibrillation shocks stop the heart's waves and prevent new ones from occurring.’
      • ‘In this case, the sequence of shocks was terminated.’
      • ‘Then the dog received shocks from all parts of the floor at random.’
      • ‘Built-in computers analyze the person's heart rhythm and interpret the rhythms that require defibrillation shocks.’
      • ‘No shocks occurred after medical therapy was optimized.’
      • ‘If you experience no shocks during this period, you may resume driving.’
      • ‘Defibrillation therapy delivers such a strong shock that you may feel as if you're being kicked in the chest by a horse.’
      • ‘The osmotic shock experiment was repeated three times on each mutant.’
      • ‘If it can be corrected, the device automatically delivers the shock.’
      • ‘The success rate of surgical treatment barely exceeds that of shock wave therapy.’
      • ‘In the control group, all patients received their shocks from the ambulance personnel.’
      • ‘A voice chip tells the user when a shock should be administered.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If it is needed, a defibrillating shock interrupts the potentially lethal rhythm and gives it the chance to start beating normally.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2A 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That and the shock from the impact would have flattened forests over much of that part of the area.’
    • ‘When your character is too close to a grenade or mortar going off, you'll experience a shock effect.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Under the impact of the shock, the fish float to the surface, becoming an easy prey.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Instead of traditional foam lining, the helmet uses padding to absorb the shock of a blow to the head.’
    • ‘A very simple answer would probably be to absorb the shock of impact.’
    • ‘Runners should take smaller quantities more often as the shock from each impact may cause gastric stress.’
    • ‘The shock of impact riddled both pilots with confusion, stumbling to regain control of their mechs.’
    • ‘The mountains absorbed the shock and explosive power of the ordnance.’
    • ‘Peeling himself off the disgusting plastic cover, Dylan shook the shock of the impact from his head and quickly regained his senses.’
    • ‘Violent shocks punctuated the strong shaking which lasted some 45 to 60 seconds.’
    • ‘Shock and vibration - the spacecraft will be subjected to vibration and mechanical shocks during launch and separation from the launcher.’
    • ‘These are designed to absorb the energy of recoil gradually, avoiding violent shock or movement of the carriage.’
    • ‘They are almost certainly unsafe, as they cannot absorb the shock of an impact, even at slow speeds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He crumpled to the floor to absorb the shock of the impact and whipped around with his flashlight as the horde closed rapidly.’
    • ‘Information about the termination shock may also provide insight into the more powerful shocks generated by supernova explosions.’
    vibration, shaking movement, reverberation, shake, jolt, jar, jarring, jerk
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1
      short for shock absorber
      • ‘Improved suspension parts ranging from bushings to springs, shocks and tires make this vehicle a stand out in terms of handling and ride quality.’
      • ‘The suspension is upgraded with new bushings, springs and shocks and the tuning is refined for better ride and handling.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We just didn't have enough in the budget to fix the Charger if an axle broke or the shocks went out.’
      • ‘A country with bad roads does not require ceramic engines; it needs vehicles with rugged axles and shocks.’
      • ‘As the doctor discussed the medical oddity in front of him, Lamb felt a sudden shock shoot through her.’
      • ‘The front set-up uses struts with lower wishbones, coil springs, and hydraulic shocks.’
      • ‘Such products may include oil filters, air filters, shocks, spoilers, or headlamps, as they in effect, are part of the truck.’
      • ‘Crew chiefs will continue to make aggressive calls, but expect engineers to focus more on mechanical grip with chassis, shocks and springs.’
      • ‘I landed in the ditch with a thump, as the shocks tried to absorb the impact.’
      • ‘You know, the caked in clay inside the frame channel and bent steel brake lines and rusted shocks.’

verb

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

    ‘she was shocked at the state of his injuries’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We thought it was a blessing that neither of them suffered, but we were still shocked and upset.’
    • ‘Well, actually I'm extremely shocked and surprised because it is coming at the wrong time.’
    • ‘I'm too shocked and upset to say any more just now.’
    • ‘‘She was extremely shocked and upset,’ said a police spokesman.’
    • ‘The element of surprise is crucial to shocking your victim.’
    • ‘‘I was really shocked and upset when I came across a series of unpleasant e-mails about me,’ the woman said.’
    • ‘The credits rolled and I was shocked at the surprise ending.’
    • ‘She was visibly upset, and it shocked me, watching her.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was shocked and surprised at this whole event, the arrests, everything.’
    • ‘She couldn't handle well when she's shocked or surprised.’
    • ‘I was shocked and surprised when I learnt of this fact.’
    • ‘I am shocked and very surprised to hear this news as I am sure the rest of the cricket scene will be.’
    • ‘A family was shocked and upset when they returned from holiday to find their home had been trashed in a burglary.’
    • ‘I was shocked, surprised, and still wondering how he had found me - he had just stepped out of the shadows, saving the day.’
    • ‘I was shocked, stunned and upset that she had to go through all of that.’
    1. 1.1Offend the moral feelings of; outrage.
      ‘the revelations shocked the nation’
      • ‘I believe that future generations will be shocked and outraged that it took us so long.’
      • ‘The revelation has shocked environmentalists who are demanding an urgent investigation into the risks of the contamination spreading.’
      • ‘The report shocked the world and outraged the Arab world.’
      • ‘Later he became the supreme 1960s dandy subversive, shocking the nation by being the first man to use the f-word on television.’
      • ‘That documentary dished out shocking revelations as to what the state fed our children.’
      • ‘While others were quite shocked or even offended by the waitress's behaviour, I was very amused.’
      • ‘Are you shocked at recent revelations about players, booze, and drugs?’
      • ‘We of the international scientific community were shocked and outraged at the conditional approval of the project.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ordinary Australians are totally shocked and outraged.’
      • ‘I alternated from being shocked to outraged to saddened.’
      • ‘As people of a nation, we have always been shocked and disgusted with dirty politics.’
      • ‘Those who might be shocked and offended by the political message will stay away.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many of your readers will have been shocked by your revelations.’
      • ‘It was a revelation that shocked a public that had thought itself inured to stories of criminal excess.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2[no object]Experience feelings of outrage.
      ‘he shocked so easily’
      • ‘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 when mum asked if I thought she should get a tattoo, I was mildly surprised and not a little curious.’
      • ‘And even though I'm not easily shocked, I'm easily embarrassed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I'm not easily shocked but the pumpkin story was a case of ‘too much information’, to use the expression de nos jours.’
      • ‘They have decades of experience and aren't shocked easily but they are becoming more and more disillusioned with present day Ireland.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Not for the easily shocked, his four-letter tirades - which prompted one walk-out - were interspersed by a spate of ingenious gags.’
    3. 1.3Affect with physiological shock, or with an electric shock.
      • ‘Patients who remain shocked after 3 litres of intravenous fluid usually have continued bleeding and require urgent laparotomy.’
      • ‘Faye screamed as the lightning went through her body as electricity shocked her entire body.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It may also be good for the Democrats, who could use a jolt of electricity to shock them out of their smug complacency.’
      • ‘They draw power from nearby electricity lines to shock the fish.’
      • ‘The treatment, which essentially involves shocking the brain with electricity, was very effective in tackling depression, she and her husband were told.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We backed away from each other like we just got shocked by electricity, both blushing like crazy.’
      • ‘The electric current shocks the sweat glands, and they stop producing sweat temporarily.’
      • ‘His heart was electrically shocked back to a normal rhythm.’
      • ‘They're using electrical prods to shock the fish, which has very negative long term effects on the fish population.’
      • ‘She testified that another girl held in the same facility was hung upside down, naked and shocked repeatedly with the electric prod.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One person, identified in court documents as an inmate named Rasheed, told lawyers his tongue was shocked with electricity and his toenails pulled out.’
      • ‘I felt like I've been shocked with electricity, but I tried to be as calm as possible.’
  • 2archaic [no object] Collide violently.

    ‘carriage after carriage shocked fiercely against the engine’

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

/SHäk/

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.

    • ‘The grain shocks would be off-loaded into the thrashing machines.’
    • ‘The field of wheat is well in the foreground, diversified and defined by the shocks of grain to the right.’
    • ‘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!’

verb

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

    • ‘Michael showed me how to cut oats with the horse-drawn grain binder and shock the bundles to dry.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

shock

/SHäk/

Main definitions of shock in English

: shock1shock2shock3

shock3

noun

  • An unkempt or thick mass of hair.

    ‘a slender man with an untamable shock of black hair’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At a party I met a striking young woman whose hair escaped in a shock of dark anarchic curls.’
    • ‘He has a shock of thick snow-blond hair that is certain to attract the others in white.’
    • ‘Amongst those in the queue is a tall woman with a shock of black hair.’
    • ‘A shock of raven-black hair gripped his scalp tightly and fell down past his shoulders.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A shock of black hair, like healthy lunar wheat, frames her features.’
    • ‘His skin was so pale white and atop his head sat a shock of hair as black as the night sky.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Almost immediately I saw a shock of red hair appear from behind a beam.’
    • ‘He had a thick shock of dark brown hair, with a little gray peeking in around his temples and just above his ears.’
    • ‘When I open them again, I'm greeted with a pair of worried black eyes surrounded by a shock of black hair.’
    • ‘A shock of black hair sat atop his head and his face was littered with soft brown freckles.’
    • ‘He has a shock of black hair and streaks of dirt running down his arms and chest.’
    • ‘His shock of black hair looked windswept, and beneath it, his eyes peered out curiously from behind wire-frame glasses.’
    • ‘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.’
    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

/SHäk/