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shill Line breaks: shill
North American informal

Definition of shill in English:


1An accomplice of a confidence trickster or swindler who poses as a genuine customer to entice or encourage others: I used to be a shill in a Reno gambling club figurative the agency is a shill for the nuclear power industry
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
  • She is really a PR consultant, who candidly calls herself a "paid shill for the Bush administration."
  • Not only is he wrong, he's a shill for the GOP, which makes for dull radio.
  • At the risk of seeming to be a shill for David Talbot, let me suggest that non-subscribers reconsider.


[no object] Back to top  
Act or work as a shill: your husband in the crowd could shill for you
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.

Words that rhyme with shill

bill, Brazil, brill, Camille, chill, cookchill, dill, distil (US distill), downhill, drill, Edgehill, Estoril, fill, freewill, frill, fulfil (US fulfill), Gill, goodwill, grill, grille, hill, ill, instil, kill, krill, mil, mill, nil, Phil, pill, quadrille, quill, rill, Seville, shrill, sill, skill, spadille, spill, squill, still, stock-still, swill, thill, thrill, till, trill, twill, until, uphill, will
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