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[shey-kee] /ˈʃeɪ ki/
adjective, shakier, shakiest.
tending to shake or tremble.
trembling; tremulous.
liable to break down or give way; insecure; not to be depended upon:
a shaky bridge.
wavering, as in allegiance:
His loyalty, always shaky, was now nonexistent.
Origin of shaky
1695-1705; shake + -y1
Related forms
shakily, adverb
shakiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for shakiness
Historical Examples
  • The shakiness of his little raft dissuaded him, and he abandoned the idea.

    The Mad Planet Murray Leinster
  • "I am your chief," he began, trying to master the shakiness of his voice.

    Tales of Unrest Joseph Conrad
  • What with that, and his difficulty to keep the pot boiling, and his general state of shakiness, Lee was older than his years.

  • But he must have felt the shakiness of his answer afterwards.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost William Frend De Morgan
  • "It is, it is," answered his friend, with just a touch of shakiness in his voice.

  • Twice Old Tarwater essayed to rise and go on, and each time, warned by his shakiness, sank back to recover more strength.

    The Red One Jack London
  • Rick spoke up, and he was surprised that there was no shakiness in his voice.

    The Caves of Fear John Blaine
  • The least hesitation, the least doubt, the least shakiness even for the merest fraction of a second, may be fatal.

    Bert Wilson at the Wheel J. W. Duffield
  • As soon as the worst of the shakiness passed out of his legs, Carhart rose.

    The Road Builders Samuel Merwin
  • Mart did so, for by this time he had recovered entirely except for a shakiness in his legs.

    The Pirate Shark Elliott Whitney
British Dictionary definitions for shakiness


adjective shakier, shakiest
tending to shake or tremble
liable to prove defective; unreliable
uncertain or questionable: your arguments are very shaky
Derived Forms
shakily, adverb
shakiness, noun
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 shakiness



1840, of handwriting; 1841 of persons, horses, and credit; 1850 of structures; from shake (v.) + -y (2). General sense of "uncertain, of questionable integrity" is from 1834. Earliest of trees or logs, "split, having fissures" (1808). Related: Shakily; shakiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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