- to show indecision or hesitation; be irresolute; vacillate.
- to waste time; dawdle.
- irresolution; indecision; vacillation: It was sheer shilly-shally on his part.
- irresolute; undecided; vacillating.
Origin of shilly-shally
1690–1700; orig. repeated question, shall I? shall I? later altered on the model of its synonym dilly-dally
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for shillyshally
- (intr) to be indecisive, esp over unimportant matters; hesitate
- in an indecisive manner
- indecisive or hesitant
- indecision or hesitation; vacillation
C18: from shill I shall I, by reduplication of shall I
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 shillyshally
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper