[ shang-hahy, shang-hahy ]
/ ˈʃæŋ haɪ, ʃæŋˈhaɪ /

verb (used with object), shang·haied, shang·hai·ing. Nautical.

to enroll or obtain (a sailor) for the crew of a ship by unscrupulous means, as by force or the use of liquor or drugs.


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Origin of shanghai

First recorded in 1855–60; after Shanghai


hijack kidnap shanghai skyjack

Definition for shanghai (2 of 2)

[ shang-hahy; Chinese shahng-hahy ]
/ ʃæŋˈhaɪ; Chinese ˈʃɑŋˈhaɪ /


Pinyin, Wade-Giles. a seaport and municipality in E China, near the mouth of the Chang Jiang.
a type of long-legged chicken believed to be of Asian origin. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for shanghai

British Dictionary definitions for shanghai (1 of 2)

/ (ˈʃæŋhaɪ, ʃæŋˈhaɪ) slang /

verb -hais, -haiing or -haied (tr)

to kidnap (a man or seaman) for enforced service at sea, esp on a merchant ship
to force or trick (someone) into doing something, going somewhere, etc
Australian and NZ to shoot with a catapult


Australian and NZ a catapult

Word Origin for shanghai

C19: from the city of Shanghai; from the forceful methods formerly used to collect crews for voyages to the Orient

British Dictionary definitions for shanghai (2 of 2)

/ (ˈʃæŋˈhaɪ) /


a port in E China, capital of Shanghai municipality (traditionally in SE Jiangsu) near the estuary of the Yangtze: the largest city in China and one of the largest ports in the world; a major cultural and industrial centre, with many universities. Pop: 12 665 000 (2005 est)
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

Cultural definitions for shanghai


Largest city in China, located in the eastern part of the country on the Pacific Ocean.

notes for Shanghai

Shanghai is the most populous city in Asia.

notes for Shanghai

It is one of the world's great seaports.

notes for Shanghai

Opened to foreign trade by the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, Shanghai became a treaty port administered by Britain, the United States, and France until World War II.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.