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[shoo-in] /ˈʃuˌɪn/
noun, Informal.
a candidate, competitor, etc., regarded as certain to win.
Origin of shoo-in
1945-50, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase shoo in Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for shoo in


a person or thing that is certain to win or succeed
a match or contest that is easy to win
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
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Word Origin and History for shoo in



"easy winner" (especially in politics)," 1939, from earlier sense "horse that wins a race by pre-arrangement" (1928); the verb phrase shoo in in this sense is from 1908; from shoo (v.) + in (adv.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for shoo in

shoo in

verb phrase

To cause a particular horse, esp an inferior one, to win a race

[1908+ Horse racing; fr the notion that the beast, not caring to run and not needing to, can be shooed over the finish line and win]



: to be a shoe-in candidate


  1. A horse that wins a race by prearrangement (1928+ Horse racing)
  2. A person, team, candidate, etc, certain to win; cinch, sure thing: The big, powerful Trojans were the shoo-ins (1939+)

[shoe-in may simply be a misspelling, but it is probably based on a misunderstanding of the origin of the term; it is a sort of folk etymology]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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