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shill

[shil]Slang.
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noun
  1. a person who poses as a customer in order to decoy others into participating, as at a gambling house, auction, confidence game, etc.
  2. a person who publicizes or praises something or someone for reasons of self-interest, personal profit, or friendship or loyalty.
verb (used without object)
  1. to work as a shill: He shills for a large casino.
verb (used with object)
  1. to advertise or promote (a product) as or in the manner of a huckster; hustle: He was hired to shill a new TV show.

Origin of shill

First recorded in 1920–25; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for shilled

shill

noun
  1. slang a confidence trickster's assistant, esp a person who poses as an ordinary customer, gambler, etc, in order to entice others to participate

Word Origin

C20: perhaps shortened from shillaber a circus barker, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for shilled

shill

n.

"one who acts as a decoy for a gambler, auctioneer, etc.," 1916, probably originally circus or carnival argot, probably a shortened form of shillaber (1913) with the same meaning, origin unknown. The verb is attested from 1914. Related: Shilled; shilling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper