• noun: a sudden usually unpleasant or upsetting feeling caused by something unexpected
  • noun: a pile of sheaves of grain or stalks of Indian corn set up in a field with the butt ends down
  • verb: to surprise and usually upset (someone)
  • verb: to collect into 'shocks'
  • verb: to strike with surprise, terror, horror, or disgust
  • usually singular
  • synonyms: ac arc, poulsen arc, abscess


  • I don't think there's anything wrong with using 'shock tactics' [=actions, images, stories, etc., that surprise and upset people] to discourage people from driving while drunk.

  • We 'were shocked into' silence by what we saw. [=we were so surprised and upset by what we saw that we could not say anything]

  • He got the 'shock of his life' [=he was very unpleasantly surprised] when he saw his own name on the list.

Movie quotes

  • (..) It's a beautiful story. Do you always enjoy shocking people, Uncle Frank? Honey... I didn't know you were so easily shocked, Randy. I admire your sensibilities, I'm touched. Dad, remember the time you persuaded Frank to go to the kennel? What about it? (..)
    1992 Scent of a Woman
  • (..) Everyone is to leave immediately. This café is closed until further notice. Clear the room at once! On what grounds? I'm shocked to find that gambling is going on in here. - Your winnings, sir. - Thank you. Everybody out at once! After this disturbance, it's not safe (..)
    1942 Casablanca
  • (..) There are no bears in San Francisco. I saw a really hairy guy. He looked like a bear. Oh. I'm so jumpy, my nerves are shocked. Ew. I don't wanna hear about your nerves. I'll tell you what it is. This move has been a bust. That's what I've been (..)
    2015 Inside Out