Shrug

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Shrug'

Shrug Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    shrug n : a gesture involving the shoulders v : raise one's shoulders to indicate indifference or resignation [also: shrugging, shrugged]
Shrug Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Shrug \Shrug\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Shrugged; p. pr. & vb. n. Shrugging.] [Probably akin to shrink, p. p. shrunk; cf. Dan. skrugge, skrukke, to stoop, dial. Sw. skrukka, skruga, to crouch.] To draw up or contract (the shoulders), especially by way of expressing dislike, dread, doubt, or the like. He shrugs his shoulders when you talk of securities. --Addison.
Shrug Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Shrug \Shrug\, v. i. To raise or draw up the shoulders, as in expressing dislike, dread, doubt, or the like. They grin, they shrug. They bow, they snarl, they snatch, they hug. --Swift.
Shrug Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Shrug \Shrug\, n. A drawing up of the shoulders, -- a motion usually expressing dislike, dread, or doubt. The Spaniards talk in dialogues Of heads and shoulders, nods and shrugs. --Hudibras.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Shrug'


A shrug is a form of nonverbal communication that is performed by lifting both shoulders up, and is an indication of an individual either not knowing an answer to a question, or not caring about a result. It can also be used when someone is simply ignoring the person's question. It may be accentuated with raised eyebrows and/or an exaggerated frown. It is very common in American culture, rather than saying "I don't know", they would simply perform a shrug. In the English-speaking world it may be accompanied by a three syllable grunt or hummed mumble mimicking the intonation of "I dunno". The shrug is relatively absent from Eastern culture.

This gesture is often accompanied by raised palms, as shown in the illustration.

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Shrug Sample Sentences in News


  • Investors shrug off governance concerns ahead of Alibaba float
    Alibaba has had its corporate governance structure labelled "worst in class” by one of the world’s leading index providers on the eve of its multibillion-dollar listing. But investors remain unfazed. Read more on this news related to 'Shrug'
  • Matthew Lynn's London Eye: Good riddance, Scotland: We don’t need you
    Markets would shrug off a vote in Scotland in favor of independence, because the rest of the U.K. would be better off without it, writes Matthew Lynn. Read more on this news related to 'Shrug'
  • 4 Reasons shoppers will shrug off Home Depot hack
    Home Depot's data breach could wind up being among the largest ever for a retailer, but that may not matter to its millions of customers. The nation's largest home-improvement chain on Monday confirmed ... Read more on this news related to 'Shrug'

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