Definition of shill in English:

shill

Line breaks: shill
Pronunciation: /ʃɪl
 
/
North American informal

noun

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
  • 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.

verb

[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.

Origin

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

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