[kweyk] /kweɪk/

verb (used without object), quaked, quaking.
(of persons) to shake or tremble from cold, weakness, fear, anger, or the like:
He spoke boldly even though his legs were quaking.
(of things) to shake or tremble, as from shock, internal convulsion, or instability:
The earth suddenly began to quake.
an earthquake.
a trembling or tremulous agitation.
unstable or unsafe to walk on, as a bog or quicksand: a quaking bog, quaking sands
verb (intransitive)
to shake or tremble with or as with fear
to convulse or quiver, as from instability
the act or an instance of quaking
(informal) short for earthquake

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.

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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