1 noun
1 SHOCKING EVENT/SITUATION (countable usually singular) an unexpected and unpleasant event, situation, or piece of news that surprises and upsets you: It was a real shock to hear that the factory would have to close. | come as a shock (=be a shock): We knew Rob had cancer, but it still came as a shock when he died.
2 UNEXPECTED UNPLEASANT FEELING (singular uncountable) the feeling of surprise and disbelief you have when something very unpleasant happens unexpectedly: I was numb with shock when I found out Graham was having an affair. | get a shock: They'll get a shock when they get this bill. | in a state of shock (=extremely shocked by something and unable to think or react normally): Several hours after we had heard we were still in a state of shock that Cobain was dead.
3 MEDICAL (U) a medical condition in which someone looks pale and their heart and lungs are not working correctly, usually after a sudden very unpleasant experience: suffer from shock: Several witnesses were taken to hospital suffering from shock. | in (a state of) shock: Paul's in shock, but otherwise his injuries are not serious.
4 ELECTRICITTY also electric shock (C) a sharp, painful feeling caused by a dangerous flow of electricity passing through your body: get a shock: I got a shock off the toaster this morning.
5 SHAKING (C, U) violent shaking caused for example by an explosion or earthquake etc: The shock of the explosion was felt miles away.
—see also: shock wave
6 a shock of hair a very thick mass of hair
—see also: shocked, shell shock, toxic shock syndrome USAGE NOTE: SHOCK WORD CHOICE: shock, surprise, shocking Shock and shocking are both fairly strong words and you may have to think whether they are the words you really need to express your meaning. If something is, comes as, or gives you a shock it is unexpected and often very bad: It came as a great shock to hear she was leaving home. | He'll be OK once he gets over the shock. A surprise is something that is unexpected, but is not necessarily bad: What a nice surprise! I didn't even think you were in the country! | It was quite a surprise to know I was actually good at drawing. Something that is shocking is extremely bad, often in an offensive or immoral way: shocking violence. So you would not use shocking to describe, for example, your first day at school, or something that was simply an unpleasant surprise. 2 verb
1 (T) to make someone feel very surprised and upset, and unable to believe what has happened: The murder of such a young child deeply shocked the whole community. | it shocks sb to do sth: It shocked me to think how close we had come to being killed.
2 (I, T) to make someone feel very offended, by talking or behaving in an immoral or socially unacceptable way: He seems to enjoy shocking people. | Just ignore all their bad language - they only do it to shock.
3 (T) to give an electric shock to someone
3 adjective (only before noun) a word meaning very surprising, used especially in newspapers: England's shock defeat by Luxembourg in last night's game

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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