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[kweyk] /kweɪk/
verb (used without object), quaked, quaking.
(of persons) to shake or tremble from cold, weakness, fear, anger, or the like:
He spoke boldly even though his legs were quaking.
(of things) to shake or tremble, as from shock, internal convulsion, or instability:
The earth suddenly began to quake.
an earthquake.
a trembling or tremulous agitation.
Origin of quake
before 900; Middle English; Old English cwacian to shake, tremble
Related forms
quakingly, adverb
unquaking, adjective
1. shudder. See shiver1 . 2. quiver. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for quake
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You'll see the plants which make me quake; you'll see the springs, such a shower of water!

  • She surveyed us both with a scorn in her eyes that made us quake a little.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • They had attempted him no harm, and he had ceased to quake and snarl when one of them passed near.

    The Grizzly King James Oliver Curwood
  • It got to be so that whatever we touched began to quake and quiver.

    My Reminiscences Rabindranath Tagore
  • The two lads could feel her quiver and quake under the concussion like a live thing.

    The Boy Scouts' Mountain Camp John Henry Goldfrap
British Dictionary definitions for quake


verb (intransitive)
to shake or tremble with or as with fear
to convulse or quiver, as from instability
the act or an instance of quaking
(informal) short for earthquake
Word Origin
Old English cwacian; related to Old English cweccan to shake, Old Irish bocaim, German wackeln
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for quake

Old English cwacian "quake, tremble, chatter (of teeth)," related to cweccan "to shake, swing, move, vibrate," of unknown origin with no certain cognates outside English. Perhaps somehow imitative. In reference to earth tremors, probably by c.1200. Related: Quaked; quaking.


early 14c., "a trembling in fear," from quake (v.). Rare except in combinations. Now usually as a shortening of earthquake, in which use it is attested from 1640s. Old English had the verbal noun cwacung "shaking, trembling."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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quake in Technology

A string-oriented language designed to support the construction of Modula-3 programs from modules, interfaces and libraries. Written by Stephen Harrison of DEC SRC, 1993.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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