extortion, as by blackmail or threats of violence.
a thorough search:
a shakedown of prison cells to uncover hidden drugs.
a bed, as of straw or blankets, spread on the floor.
any makeshift bed.
the act or process of shaking down.
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.
1490-1500; noun, adj. use of verb phrase shake down
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.