Definition of shilly-shally in English:

shilly-shally

Line breaks: shilly-shally
Pronunciation: /ˈʃɪlɪʃali
 
/

verb (shilly-shallies, shilly-shallying, shilly-shallied)

[no object]

noun

[mass noun] Back to top  
  • Indecisive behaviour: a no-nonsense lack of shilly-shally
    More example sentences
    • He had had enough of the shilly-shallying that now dominates the game's upper echelons.
    • One result of this shilly-shallying is that much of the talk about liberty becomes a self-serving charade.
    • But it was so thrilling to be around someone who's been making films for so long that they know exactly what they want and how they want their world to look that there's no shilly-shallying.

Derivatives

shilly-shallyer

(also shilly-shallier) noun
More example sentences
  • They opted instead for a policy of ‘splitting’ whereby the chaff of shilly-shallyers and equivocators could be shorn away to leave a core group of those absolutely committed to revolution at all costs.
  • It is the shilly-shalliers who have contributed most to the present deplorable state of your society.
  • The author has it in for politicians, liberals, student activists, pinkos and shilly-shallyers.

Origin

mid 18th century: originally as shill I, shall I, reduplication of shall I?.

More definitions of shilly-shally

Definition of shilly-shally in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
noun
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space