- to tremble or shake, as the ground does in an earthquake
- to shudder or shiver, as from fear or cold
Origin of quakeMiddle English quaken ; from Old English cwacian
- a shaking or tremor
- an earthquake, moonquake, etc.
intransitive verbquaked quaked, quak·ing, quakes
- To shake or tremble, as from instability or shock.
- To shiver or shudder, as with cold or from strong emotion. See Synonyms at shake.
- An instance of quaking.
- An earthquake.
Origin of quakeMiddle English quaken, from Old English cwacian.
From Middle English quaken, from Old English cwacian (“to quake, tremble, chatter"), from Proto-Germanic *kwakÅnÄ… (“to shake, quiver, tremble"), from Proto-Indo-European *gÊ·og- (“to shake, swing"), related to Old English cweccan (“to shake, swing, move, vibrate, shake off, give up") (see quitch), Eastern Frisian kwakkelje (“to flounder, limp"), Dutch kwakkelen (“to ail, be ailing"), German Quackelei (“chattering"), Danish kvakle (“to bungle"), Latin vÄ“xÅ (“toss, shake violently, jostle, vex"), Irish bogadh (“a move, movement, shift, change").