verb (used without object), shil·ly-shal·lied, shil·ly-shal·ly·ing.
to show indecision or hesitation; be irresolute; vacillate.
to waste time; dawdle.
noun, plural shil·ly-shal·lies.
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. 2019
Related Words for shillyshallyhesitate, dawdle, waffle, seesaw, waver, fluctuate, dither, oscillate, differ, divide, modify, diverge, range, diversify, alter, distrust, suspect, impugn, rotate, vary
Examples from the Web for shillyshally
Historical Examples of shillyshally
verb -lies, -lying or -lied
(intr) to be indecisive, esp over unimportant matters; hesitate
in an indecisive manner
indecisive or hesitant
noun plural -lies
indecision or hesitation; vacillation
Word Origin for shillyshally
C18: from shill I shall I, by reduplication of shall I
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