quake [kweyk] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for quake on Thesaurus.com verb (used without object), quaked, quak·ing.

  1. (of persons) to shake or tremble from cold, weakness, fear, anger, or the like: He spoke boldly even though his legs were quaking.
  2. (of things) to shake or tremble, as from shock, internal convulsion, or instability: The earth suddenly began to quake.


  1. an earthquake.
  2. a trembling or tremulous agitation.

Origin of quake before 900; Middle English; Old English cwacian to shake, trembleRelated formsquak·ing·ly, adverbun·quak·ing, adjectiveSynonyms for quake See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com 1. shudder. See shiver1. 2. quiver. Related Words for quaking quail, totter, pulsate, quiver, throb, convulse, twitter, move, jar, cower, shrink, shudder, fluctuate, shiver, waver, rock, tremor, tremble, wobble, jitter Examples from the Web for quaking Contemporary Examples of quaking

  • Obama and the Democrats generally have a history of quaking when this deficit talk starts up.

    Michael Tomasky on GOP Deficit Hypocrisy at Release of Obama’s Budget

    Michael Tomasky

    February 14, 2012

  • Historical Examples of quaking

  • Standing on that quaking wall Foulet and I stared at each other.

    The Floating Island of Madness

    Jason Kirby

  • Quaking, reeling, almost falling, she came tottering down the patio.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine

  • Father Pifferi, quaking with fear, thought he was there to protect Roma.

    The Eternal City

    Hall Caine

  • Then the wreckers, hand in hand, quaking and whimpering, stepped out to the mouth of the cave.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • Quaking with undefined fears, he pushed on until he had joined them.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • British Dictionary definitions for quaking quaking adjective

    1. unstable or unsafe to walk on, as a bog or quicksanda quaking bog; quaking sands

    quake verb (intr)

    1. to shake or tremble with or as with fear
    2. to convulse or quiver, as from instability


    1. the act or an instance of quaking
    2. informal short for earthquake

    Word Origin for quake Old English cwacian; related to Old English cweccan to shake, Old Irish bocaim, German wackeln Word Origin and History for quaking quake v.

    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.

    quake n.

    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.”

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