shake-down

shakedown

[sheyk-doun]
noun
1.
extortion, as by blackmail or threats of violence.
2.
a thorough search: a shakedown of prison cells to uncover hidden drugs.
3.
a bed, as of straw or blankets, spread on the floor.
4.
any makeshift bed.
5.
the act or process of shaking down.
6.
Also called shakedown cruise, shakedown flight. a cruise or flight intended to prepare a new vessel or aircraft for regular service by accustoming the crew to its features and peculiarities, breaking in and adjusting machinery, etc.
Also, shake-down.


Origin:
1490–1500; noun, adj. use of verb phrase shake down

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

shakedown
1730, "impromptu bed made upon loose straw," from shake + 'down. Fig. verbal sense of "blackmail, extort" is attested from 1872, noun meaning "a thorough search" is from 1914; both probably from the notion of measuring corn. The verbal phrase to shake down "cause to
totter and fall" is recorded from c.1400.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

shakedown definition


  1. n.
    an act of extortion. (Underworld.) : Mary was giving Bruno the shakedown, so he tried to put her out of the way.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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