1 [intransitive and transitive]
to move gently backwards and forwards or from side to side, or to make something do this [↪ sway]:
She covered her face, rocking to and fro in her grief.
The waves rocked the boat from side to side.
Paul sat gently rocking the child in his arms.
Jim rocked with laughter when he heard what had happened.
to make the people in a place or organization feel very shocked - used in news reports [= shake]:
The scandal rocked the nation.
to make the future of something seem less certain or steady than it was before, especially because of problems or changes [= shake]:
Another financial blow has rocked the industry.
The theory rocked the foundations of social and moral life.
to cause problems for other members of a group by criticizing something or trying to change the way something is done:
He kept his feelings to himself, not wanting to rock the boat.
if an explosion or earthquake rocks an area, it makes it shake:
Residents had only a few minutes to escape before the blast rocked their houses.
5 spoken informal
said to show that you strongly approve of someone or something
to cause someone to think about something or someone in a completely new way