Definition of shill in English:


Syllabification: shill
Pronunciation: /SHil
North American informal


  • 1An accomplice of a hawker, gambler, or swindler who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others.
    More example sentences
    • The carnival shill plays on the behavior of prospective customers in this way.
    • Sophisticated news consumers know that Clarke is a fraud and a shill for the campaign.
    • So I suppose this makes me a member of the international neocon conspiracy as well as an evil shill for the oil industry.
  • 1.1A person who pretends to give an impartial endorsement of something in which they themselves have an interest: a megamillionaire who makes more money as a shill for corporate products than he does for playing basketball
    More example sentences
    • I should point out that I am not a movie industry shill, nor do I have any hidden adgenda.
    • I think it's pretty easy to be worried/outraged/upset by this Act without being a criminal if you have a little knowledge and imagination - or aren't an industry shill.
    • They regarded him as a corporate shill and deal-making party hack.


[no object] Back to top  
  • Act or work as a shill.
    More example sentences
    • He shilled for the shipping magnate in his bid to lead the Liberals.
    • But Tom is as stalwart as the administration for which he shilled so continuously, before taking his book-writing sabbatical.
    • Worse, he suggests, they shilled for Wall Street, conflating the interests of the big banks with the financial health of the world.


early 20th century: probably from earlier shillaber, of unknown origin.

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Pronunciation: ˈgʌsi
make someone or something more attractive