Nearby words

  1. shooting star,
  2. shooting stick,
  3. shooting war,
  4. shootist,
  5. shootout,
  6. shop around,
  7. shop assistant,
  8. shop floor,
  9. shop right,
  10. shop steward


Origin of shop

1250–1300; Middle English shoppe (noun), Old English sceoppa booth; akin to scypen stall, shippon, German Schopf lean-to, Schuppen shed

Related formsin·ter·shop, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for set up shop



a place, esp a small building, for the retail sale of goods and services
an act or instance of shopping, esp household shoppingthe weekly shop
a place for the performance of a specified type of work; workshop
all over the shop informal
  1. in disarrayhis papers were all over the shop
  2. in every directionI've searched for it all over the shop
shut up shop
  1. to close business at the end of the day or permanently
  2. to become defensive or inactive
talk shop to speak about one's work, esp when meeting socially, sometimes with the effect of excluding those not similarly employed

verb shops, shopping or shopped

(intr often foll by for) to visit a shop or shops in search of (goods) with the intention of buying them
(tr) slang, mainly British to inform on or betray, esp to the police

Word Origin for shop

Old English sceoppa stall, booth; related to Old High German scopf shed, Middle Dutch schoppe stall

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 set up shop
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with set up shop

set up shop

Open a business, start a profession, as in Now that you've got your degree, where do you plan to set up shop? This idiom was first recorded about 1570.


In addition to the idiom beginning with shop

  • shop around

also see:

  • bull in a china shop
  • close up (shop)
  • set up (shop)
  • shut up (shop)
  • talk shop
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.