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leg

[leg] /lɛg/
noun
1.
either of the two lower limbs of a biped, as a human being, or any of the paired limbs of an animal, arthropod, etc., that support and move the body.
2.
Anatomy. the lower limb of a human being from the knee to the ankle.
3.
something resembling or suggesting a leg in use, position, or appearance.
4.
the part of a garment that covers the leg:
the leg of a stocking; trouser leg.
5.
one of usually several, relatively tall, slender supports for a piece of furniture.
6.
one of the sides of a forked object, as of a compass or pair of dividers.
7.
one of the sides of a triangle other than the base or hypotenuse.
8.
a timber, bar, or the like, serving to prop or shore up a structure.
9.
one of the flanges of an angle iron.
10.
one of the distinct sections of any course:
the last leg of a trip.
11.
Nautical.
  1. one of the series of straight runs that make up the zigzag course of a sailing ship.
  2. one straight or nearly straight part of a multiple-sided course in a sailing race.
12.
Sports.
  1. one of a designated number of contests that must be successfully completed in order to determine the winner.
  2. one of the stretches or sections of a relay race.
13.
legs, (in wine tasting) the rivulets of wine that slowly descend along the inside of a glass after the wine has been swirled, sometimes regarded as an indication that the wine is full-bodied.
14.
Cricket.
  1. the part of the field to the left of and behind the batsman as he faces the bowler or to the right of and behind him if he is left-handed.
  2. the fielder playing this part of the field.
  3. the position of this fielder.
15.
Electricity. a component or branch of a circuit, network, antenna, etc.
16.
Radio and Television. a connecting link between stations in a network, as the microwave relays used in transmitting a show from one geographical area to another.
17.
bride2 (def 1).
verb (used with object), legged, legging.
18.
to move or propel (a boat) with the legs:
They legged the boat through the tunnel.
Verb phrases
19.
leg up, to help (someone) to mount a horse.
Idioms
20.
leg it, Informal. to walk rapidly or run:
We'd better leg it or we'll be late for class.
21.
leg up,
  1. a means of help or encouragement; assist; boost:
    Studying the material with a tutor will give you a leg up on passing the exam.
  2. advantage; edge.
22.
not have a leg to stand on, to lack a valid or logical basis for one's argument or attitude:
Without evidence, the prosecutor doesn't have a leg to stand on.
23.
on one's / its last legs, just short of exhaustion, breakdown, failure, etc.:
The aristocracy was on its last legs.
24.
pull someone's leg,
  1. to make fun of someone; tease.
  2. to deceive someone; trick someone.
25.
shake a leg, Informal.
  1. to hurry up.
  2. Older Use. to dance.
26.
stretch one's legs, to take a walk; get some needed exercise after prolonged sitting:
He got up during the intermission to stretch his legs.
Origin
1225-1275
1225-75; 1915-20 for def 10; Middle English < Old Norse leggr
Related forms
legless, adjective
leglike, adjective

shake

[sheyk] /ʃeɪk/
verb (used without object), shook, shaken, shaking.
1.
to move or sway with short, quick, irregular vibratory movements.
2.
to tremble with emotion, cold, etc.
3.
to become dislodged and fall (usually followed by off or down):
Sand shakes off easily.
4.
to move something, or its support or container, briskly to and fro or up and down, as in mixing:
Shake before using.
5.
to totter; become unsteady.
6.
to clasp another's hand in greeting, agreement, congratulations, etc.:
Let's shake and be friends again.
7.
Music. to execute a trill.
verb (used with object), shook, shaken, shaking.
8.
to move (something or its support or container) to and fro or up and down with short, quick, forcible movements:
to shake a bottle of milk.
9.
to brandish or flourish:
to shake a stick at someone.
10.
to grasp (someone or something) firmly in an attempt to move or rouse by, or as by, vigorous movement to and fro:
We shook the tree.
11.
to dislodge or dispense (something) by short, quick, forcible movements of its support or container:
We shook nuts from the tree.
12.
to cause to sway, rock, totter, etc.:
to shake the very foundations of society.
13.
to agitate or disturb profoundly in feeling:
The experience shook him badly.
14.
to cause to doubt or waver; weaken. to shake one's self-esteem.
15.
Music. to trill (a note).
16.
to mix (dice) by rolling in the palm of the hand before they are cast.
17.
to get rid of; elude:
They tried to shake their pursuers.
noun
18.
an act or instance of shaking, rocking, swaying, etc.
19.
tremulous motion.
20.
a tremor.
21.
shakes, (used with a singular verb) Informal. a state or spell of trembling, as caused by fear, fever, cold, etc. (usually preceded by the).
22.
a disturbing blow; shock.
23.
Informal. milk shake.
24.
the act or a manner of clasping another's hand in greeting, agreement, etc.:
He has a strong shake.
25.
Informal. chance or fate; deal:
a fair shake.
26.
a cast of the dice:
He threw an eight on his last shake.
27.
something resulting from shaking.
28.
an earthquake.
29.
a fissure in the earth.
30.
an internal crack or fissure in timber.
31.
Music. trill1 (def 9).
32.
an instant:
I'll be with you in a shake.
33.
Carpentry. a shingle or clapboard formed by splitting a short log into a number of tapered radial sections with a hatchet.
34.
Horology. (in an escapement) the distance between the nearer corner of one pallet and the nearest tooth of the escape wheel when the other pallet arrests an escape tooth.
35.
Chiefly South Midland U.S. shaker (def 2).
36.
a dance deriving from the twist.
37.
Slang. the dried leaves of the marijuana plant.
Verb phrases
38.
shake down,
  1. to cause to descend by shaking; bring down.
  2. to cause to settle.
  3. to condition; test:
    to shake down a ship.
  4. Informal. to extort money from.
  5. Slang. to search (someone), especially to detect concealed weapons.
39.
shake off,
  1. to rid oneself of; reject.
  2. to get away from; leave behind.
  3. Baseball, Softball. (of a pitcher) to indicate rejection of (a sign by the catcher for a certain pitch) by shaking the head or motioning with the glove.
40.
shake up,
  1. to shake in order to mix or loosen.
  2. to upset; jar.
  3. to agitate mentally or physically:
    The threat of attack has shaken up the entire country.
Idioms
41.
no great shakes, Informal. of no particular ability; unimportant; common:
As opera companies go, this one is no great shakes.
42.
shake a leg, Informal.
  1. to hurry up; get a move on:
    You'd better shake a leg or we'll miss the first act.
  2. to dance.
43.
shake hands. hand (def 77).
44.
shake one's head,
  1. to indicate disapproval, disagreement, negation, or uncertainty by turning one's head from one side to the other and back:
    I asked him if he knew the answer, but he just shook his head.
  2. to indicate approval, agreement, affirmation or acceptance by nodding one's head up and down.
45.
shake the dust from one's feet. dust (def 25).
46.
two shakes (of a lamb's tail), a very short time; a moment.
Origin
before 900; (v.) Middle English s(c)haken, Old English sceacan; cognate with Low German schacken, Old Norse skaka; (noun) derivative of the v.
Related forms
shakable, shakeable, adjective
reshake, verb, reshook, reshaken, reshaking.
unshakable, adjective
unshakablely, adverb
unshakeable, adjective
unshakeablely, adverb
unshaken, adjective
well-shaken, adjective
Can be confused
shake, sheik (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
1. oscillate, waver. Shake, quiver, tremble, vibrate refer to an agitated movement that, in living things, is often involuntary. To shake is to agitate more or less quickly, abruptly, and often unevenly so as to disturb the poise, stability, or equilibrium of a person or thing: a pole shaking under his weight. To quiver is to exhibit a slight vibratory motion such as that resulting from disturbed or irregular (surface) tension: The surface of the pool quivered in the breeze. To tremble (used more often of a person) is to be agitated by intermittent, involuntary movements of the muscles, much like shivering and caused by fear, cold, weakness, great emotion, etc.: Even stout hearts tremble with dismay. To vibrate is to exhibit a rapid, rhythmical motion: A violin string vibrates when a bow is drawn across it. 2. shudder, shiver. 14. daunt.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for shake a leg

leg

/lɛɡ/
noun
1.
  1. either of the two lower limbs, including the bones and fleshy covering of the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella
  2. (as modifier) leg guard, leg rest, related adjective crural
2.
any similar or analogous structure in animals that is used for locomotion or support
3.
this part of an animal, esp the thigh, used for food leg of lamb
4.
something similar to a leg in appearance or function, such as one of the four supporting members of a chair
5.
a branch, limb, or part of a forked or jointed object
6.
the part of a garment that covers the leg
7.
a section or part of a journey or course
8.
a single stage, lap, length, etc, in a relay race
9.
either one of two races on which a cumulative bet has been placed
10.
either the opposite or adjacent side of a right-angled triangle
11.
(nautical)
  1. the distance travelled without tacking
  2. (in yacht racing) the course between any two marks
12.
one of a series of games, matches, or parts of games
13.
(cricket)
  1. the side of the field to the left of a right-handed batsman as he faces the bowler
  2. (as modifier) a leg slip, leg stump
14.
give someone a leg up
  1. to help someone to climb an obstacle by pushing upwards
  2. to help someone to advance
15.
(informal) have legs, to be successful or show the potential to succeed
16.
not have a leg to stand on, to have no reasonable or logical basis for an opinion or argument
17.
on its last legs, worn out; exhausted
18.
(informal) pull someone's leg, to tease, fool, or make fun of someone
19.
(informal) shake a leg
  1. to hurry up: usually used in the imperative
  2. to dance
20.
(informal) show a leg, to get up in the morning
21.
stretch one's legs, See stretch (sense 17)
verb legs, legging, legged
22.
(transitive) (obsolete) to propel (a canal boat) through a tunnel by lying on one's back and walking one's feet along the tunnel roof
23.
(informal) leg it, to walk, run, or hurry
Derived Forms
leglike, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse leggr, of obscure origin

shake

/ʃeɪk/
verb shakes, shaking, shook, shaken (ˈʃeɪkən)
1.
to move or cause to move up and down or back and forth with short quick movements; vibrate
2.
to sway or totter or cause to sway or totter
3.
to clasp or grasp (the hand) of (a person) in greeting, agreement, etc he shook John by the hand, he shook John's hand, they shook and were friends
4.
shake hands, to clasp hands in greeting, agreement, etc
5.
(informal) shake on it, to shake hands in agreement, reconciliation, etc
6.
to bring or come to a specified condition by or as if by shaking he shook free and ran
7.
(transitive) to wave or brandish he shook his sword
8.
(transitive) often foll by up. to rouse, stir, or agitate
9.
(transitive) to shock, disturb, or upset he was shaken by the news of her death
10.
(transitive) to undermine or weaken the crisis shook his faith
11.
to mix (dice) by rattling in a cup or the hand before throwing
12.
(transitive) (Austral, archaic, slang) to steal
13.
(transitive) (US & Canadian, informal) to escape from can you shake that detective?
14.
(music) to perform a trill on (a note)
15.
(transitive) (US, informal) to fare or progress; happen as specified how's it shaking?
16.
(informal) shake a leg, to hurry: usually used in the imperative
17.
shake in one's shoes, to tremble with fear or apprehension
18.
shake one's head, to indicate disagreement or disapproval by moving the head from side to side
19.
shake the dust from one's feet, to depart gladly or with the intention not to return
noun
20.
the act or an instance of shaking
21.
a tremor or vibration
22.
(informal) the shakes, a state of uncontrollable trembling or a condition that causes it, such as a fever
23.
(informal) a very short period of time; jiffy in half a shake
24.
a shingle or clapboard made from a short log by splitting it radially
25.
a fissure or crack in timber or rock
26.
an instance of shaking dice before casting
27.
(music) another word for trill1 (sense 1)
28.
a dance, popular in the 1960s, in which the body is shaken convulsively in time to the beat
29.
an informal name for earthquake
30.
short for milk shake
31.
(informal) no great shakes, of no great merit or value; ordinary
Derived Forms
shakable, shakeable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English sceacan; related to Old Norse skaka to shake, Old High German untscachōn to be driven
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 shake a leg
leg
c.1275, from O.N. leggr "leg, bone," from P.Gmc. *lagjaz. Replaced O.E. shank. The meaning "a part or stage of a journey or race" (1920) is from earlier sailing sense of "a run made on a single tack" (1867), which was usually qualified as long leg, short leg, etc. Leg-work (1891) was originally news reporter's slang for an assignment that produced more walking than text. Slang phrase shake a leg "dance" is attested from 1881. To be on (one's) last legs "at the end of one's life" is from 1599. Legging "extra outer covering to protect the leg" first recorded 1763. Leg-warmer is first attested 1974. Leg up "aid, boost" is from 1837.
shake
O.E. sceacan "to vibrate, make vibrate, move away" (class VI strong verb; past tense scoc, pp. scacen), from P.Gmc. *skakanan (cf. O.N., Swed. skaka, Dan. skage "to shift, turn, veer"). No certain cognates outside Gmc., but some suggest a possible connection to Skt. khaj "to agitate, churn, stir about," O.C.S. skoku "a leap, bound," Welsh ysgogi "move," and ult. to PIE *(s)keg-. To shake hands dates from 1535. Shaky "insecure, unreliable" (of credit, etc.) is from 1841. Shake a leg "hurry up" first recorded 1904; shake a heel (sometimes foot) was an old way to say "to dance" (1667). Phrase more _____ than you can shake a stick at is attested from 1818, Amer.Eng. To shake (one's) head as a sign of disapproval is recorded from c.1300. Shaken, of persons, "weakened and agitated by shocks" is from 1641.
shake
c.1380, from shake (v.). As a type of instantaneous action, it is recorded from 1816. Phrase fair shake "honest deal" is attested from 1830, Amer.Eng. The shakes "nervous agitation" is from 1624. Shakeout "business upheaval" is from 1895; shake-up "reorganization" is from 1899. Dismissive phrase no great shakes (1816) perhaps is from dicing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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shake a leg in Medicine

leg (lěg)
n.

  1. One of the two lower limbs of the human body, especially the part between the knee and the foot.

  2. A supporting part resembling a leg in shape or function.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for shake a leg

shake a leg

verb phrase

To hurry; speed up (1904+)


leg

noun
  1. An infantry soldier; grunt (Vietnam War Army)
  2. A woman, esp a sexually promiscuous one (1960s+ College students fr black)
verb

(also leg it) To go; travel: I was legging down the line (1601+)

Related Terms

an arm and a leg, bootleg, give someone leg, have a leg up on someone or something, peg leg, pull someone's leg, shake a leg, shake a wicked calf, tangle-foot


shake

noun
  1. rent party: charge a few coins and have a shake (1940s+)
  2. A moment; sec: Be ready in two shakes (1839+)
  3. Blackmail or extortion; shakedown: This isn't any kind of a shake (1930+)
  4. : We'd better give the entire house a shake; I know it's here somewhere
verb
  1. To come to an agreement; shake hands: Let's shake and call it done (1873+)
  2. : tried to shake one of the big boys (1930+)
  3. To search a person or place thoroughly; shake down (1960s+)
  4. GIVE someone THE SHAKE (1883+)
Related Terms

a fair shake, half a shake, on the shake, skin-search, two shakes


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with shake a leg
.
Dance, as in Whenever there was music he was eager to shake a leg. [ ; first half of 1800s ]
.
Hurry up, as in Shake a leg or we'll miss the plane. [ ; first half of 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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