Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

shilling

[shil-ing]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a cupronickel coin and former monetary unit of the United Kingdom, the 20th part of a pound, equal to 12 pence: retained in circulation equal to 5 new pence after decimalization in 1971. Abbreviation: s.
  2. a former monetary unit of various other nations, as Australia, Fiji, Ghana, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, and Nigeria, equal to one twentieth of a pound or 12 pence.
  3. the monetary unit of Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda, equal to 100 cents.
  4. any of various coins and moneys of account used in various parts of the U.S. in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  5. shilling mark.
Show More

Origin of shilling

before 900; Middle English; Old English scilling; cognate with Dutch schelling, German Schilling, Old Norse skillingr, Gothic skillings

shill

[shil]Slang.
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.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to work as a shill: He shills for a large casino.
Show More
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.
Show More

Origin of shill

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

Examples from the Web for shilling

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for shilling

shilling

noun
  1. a former British and Australian silver or cupronickel coin worth one twentieth of a pound: not minted in Britain since 1970Abbreviation: s, sh
  2. the standard monetary unit of Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda: divided into 100 cents
  3. an old monetary unit of the US varying in value in different states
  4. (in combination) Scot an indication of the strength and character of a beer, referring to the price after duty that was formerly paid per barrelsixty-shilling Symbol: /-
Show More

Word Origin

Old English scilling; related to Old Norse skillingr, Gothic skilliggs, Old High German skilling

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
Show More

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 shilling

n.

Old English scilling, a coin consisting of a varying number of pence (on the continent, a common scale was 12 pennies to a shilling, 20 shillings to a pound), from Proto-Germanic *skillingoz- (cf. Old Saxon, Danish, Swedish, Old Frisian, Old High German skilling, Old Norse skillingr, Dutch schelling, German Schilling, Gothic skilliggs).

Some etymologists trace this to the root *skell- "to resound, to ring," and others to the root *(s)kel- (1) "to cut" (perhaps via sense of "shield" from resemblance or as a device on coins; see shield (n.)). The ending may represent the diminutive suffix -ling, or Germanic -ing "fractional part" (cf. farthing). Old Church Slavonic skulezi, Polish szelang, Spanish escalin, French schelling, Italian scellino are loan-words from Germanic.

Show More

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with shilling

shilling

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.