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  1. a fictitious American male, created by American troops who left the inscription “Kilroy was here” on walls, property, etc., all over the world in the years during and after World War II.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for kilroy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Lady Fulda Guthrie, an aunt of Mrs. Kilroy's, was the only other guest.

  • "Really I do not think I ought to let you be bored by that man," Mr. Kilroy exclaimed.

  • "I consider it a slight on Mr. and Mrs. Kilroy's part," he pursued huffily.

  • Mr. Kilroy saw to the stables, which he completed with a saddle-horse and a pony-carriage.

  • Mrs. Kilroy and Mrs. Orton Beg have just come in; I will go and join them.

Word Origin and History for kilroy


U.S. military graffito character, 1945, said to be either Sgt. Francis J. Kilroy Jr., U.S. Army Air Transport, whose friend or friends began writing his name everywhere as a prank; or war materiéls inspector James J. Kilroy of Quincy, Mass., who wrote "Kilroy was here" on everything he checked.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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