When you quake, you tremble and shiver. A scary sound in a dark basement might make you quake.

To quake is to move rapidly back and forth, so quickly that the movement is almost a vibration. If you've ever felt the floor quake during an actual earthquake, you know the fluttery, shaking kind of movement. A person can quake with fear, and a building can quake during a wind storm. You can also use the word quake as a noun, to describe the feeling itself. The Old English root is cwacian, or "tremble or clatter of teeth."

Definitions of quake
  1. verb
    shake with fast, tremulous movements
    synonyms: palpitate, quiver
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    type of:
    move or jerk quickly and involuntarily up and down or sideways
  2. verb
    shake with seismic vibrations
    “The earth was quaking
    synonyms: tremor
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    type of:
    agitate, shake
    move or cause to move back and forth
  3. noun
    shaking and vibration at the surface of the earth resulting from underground movement along a fault plane of from volcanic activity
    synonyms: earthquake, seism, temblor
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    seismic disturbance, shock
    an instance of agitation of the earth's crust
    earth tremor, microseism, tremor
    a small earthquake
    seaquake, submarine earthquake
    an earthquake at the sea bed
    a tremor (or one of a series of tremors) occurring after the main shock of an earthquake
    a tremor preceding an earthquake
    type of:
    geological phenomenon
    a natural phenomenon involving the structure or composition of the earth
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