• WordNet 3.6
    • v shrug raise one's shoulders to indicate indifference or resignation
    • n shrug a gesture involving the shoulders
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n shrug A gesture consisting of drawing up the shoulders, -- a motion usually expressing doubt, indifference, or dislike; -- it is sometimes accompanied by a slight turning of the hands outward or upward. Such a gesture may be made, as in answering "who knows" to a question, suggesting utter ignorance of an answer and a disinclination to pursue the topic further. "On Sept. 23, in a major speech in New York, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commision Arthur Levitt asked the Big Board to spike the rule [Rule 390] in the interest of free and unfettered markets. . . . Mr. Grasso responded with a shrug , saying that he had no plans to kill the rule.""The Spaniards talk in dialogues
      Of heads and shoulders, nods and shrugs ."
    • v. t Shrug shrŭg To draw up or contract (the shoulders), especially by way of expressing doubt, indifference, dislike, dread, or the like. "He shrugs his shoulders when you talk of securities."
    • v. i Shrug To raise or draw up the shoulders, as in expressing doubt, indifference, dislike, dread, or the like. "They grin, they shrug .
      They bow, they snarl, they snatch, they hug."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • shrug To shrink or shiver with or as with cold; draw up the limbs in a nervous shiver.
    • shrug To raise or draw up and contract the shoulders with a sudden, nervous movement: an expression usually of doubt, indifference, discontent, dislike, contempt, etc.
    • shrug Reflexively, to draw up the shoulders of in a shrug.
    • shrug To draw up with a sudden, nervous movement; contract in a shrug.
    • n shrug An expressive drawing up of the shoulders: a characteristic manner of expressing doubt, indifference, discontent, contempt, etc., or, rarely, relief or resignation.
    • n shrug A hitching up of the clothes.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Shrug shrug to draw up: to contract
    • v.i Shrug to draw up the shoulders, expressive of doubt, surprise, indifference, &c.:—pr.p. shrug′ging; pa.t. and pa.p. shrugged
    • n Shrug an expressive drawing up of the shoulders
    • ***


  • Ruth Stout
    Ruth Stout
    “Farmers are philosophical. They have learned that it is less wearing to shrug than to beat their breasts.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Probably akin to shrink, p. p. shrunk,; cf. Dan. skrugge, skrukke, to stoop, dial. Sw. skrukka, skruga, to crouch


In literature:

When the doctor whom Lucy had sent for, saw him, he could only shrug his shoulders.
"The Explorer" by W. Somerset Maugham
Then, shrugging his shoulders, he set the paper upon his knee and began to write.
"The Fifth Queen Crowned" by Ford Madox Ford
Macloud shrugged his shoulders.
"In Her Own Right" by John Reed Scott
Halfman shrugged his shoulders and favored honest Thoroughgood with a bantering, quizzical smile.
"The Lady of Loyalty House" by Justin Huntly McCarthy
Beth smiled and shrugged her shoulders.
"The Beth Book" by Sarah Grand
De Grost merely shrugged his shoulders.
"The Double Four" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
I shrugged my shoulders.
"The Master Mummer" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
The man whom he called AEsop looked up for a moment from his book and shrugged his shoulders.
"The Duke's Motto" by Justin Huntly McCarthy
I bowed, glancing across at Speed, who shrugged his shoulders and looked at the floor with an ominous smile.
"The Maids of Paradise" by Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers
I shrugged my shoulders as Sir John had shrugged his.
"Hurricane Island" by H. B. Marriott Watson

In poetry:

Ere she comes to age of duty,
Her own grave she's quickly dug,
Simply 'cause thy longing beauty,
Keeps her body in a shrug.
"Fashion" by Frank Barbour Coffin
Shot, and saw the feathered shaft
Dripping bright and bitter red.
He that shrugged his wings and laughed-
Better had he left me dead.
"The Burned Child" by Dorothy Parker
Ah, don't I know that, groping in the gloom,
Night would not find its way out of the dark?
Am I monster who the millions' doom
Would shrug away for a few hundreds' luck?
"To Boris Pilnyak" by Boris Pasternak
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.
"A Ritual To Read To Each Other" by William Stafford
I dreamed one man stood against a thousand,
One man damned as a wrongheaded fool.
One year and another he walked the streets,
And a thousand shrugs and hoots
Met him in the shoulders and mouths he passed.
"Graves" by Carl Sandburg
And certain sly and knowing Glugs,
With sundry nudges, winks and shrugs,
Passed round the hint that up on high,
Behind some window near the sky,
Where he could see yet not be seen,
King Splosh was present with his Queen.
"The Debate" by C J Dennis

In news:

Is There Any 'Reasoned' Defense of the Atlas Shrugged Guy.
'Atlas Shrugged' Film Banks on Election Fever.
Re "The critics shrugged," Opinion, Aug 26.
Despite the massive failure of 'Atlas Shrugged, Part I,' 'Part 2' is scheduled for an October release.
Filming is now underway for "Atlas Shrugged, Part II" in Los Angeles, more.
Bales shrugged, the medic, Sgt 1st Class James Stillwell, testified Tuesday.
Asked if it was at all concerning that the man throwing the ball to him on Sunday will soon be 38 years old, Wallace shrugged.
"Well, hello," Peter said as he shrugged off his jacket.
Edin Dzeko has shrugged off speculation regarding his future, saying winning another title at Manchester City is his ' obsession '.
Does that make you shrug definitely.
If you want to know what President Barack Obama's second term would be like, see the movie "Atlas Shrugged Part II.".
Atlas Shrugged' gets a sequel .
I came out with a shrug, not a bang.
Deepa Gurnani feather shrug w/ vintage necklace, $319, J LaMore.
Ah, but there are no casual Katz shrugs at city hall these days.

In science:

It turns out to be nothing else than the critical density of the ideal Bose gas, first computed by Einstein in 1925! The experienced physicist may shrug this fact off in hindsight.
Spatial random permutations and infinite cycles
In the single-event setup, mathematics must shrug its shoulders and admit defeat in the face of a moral decision.
Menger 1934 revisited
As its estimated size shrunk (from like Mars to between Mercury and Ceres), people mostly shrugged their shoulders.
Planetesimals To Brown Dwarfs: What is a Planet?
Shrugging off this ob jection, there are several workable schemes involving more than one large mixing angle, for example bi-maximal mixing or threefold maximal mixing 53 .
Neutrino Astrophysics at the Cross Roads