[ shil-ee-shal-ee ]
/ ˈʃɪl iˌʃæl i /
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.
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Origin of shilly-shally
1690–1700; orig. repeated question, shall I? shall I? later altered on the model of its synonym dilly-dally
OTHER WORDS FROM shilly-shallyshil·ly-shal·li·er, noun
Words nearby shilly-shally
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for shillyshally
/ (ˈʃɪlɪˌʃælɪ) informal /
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
Derived forms of shillyshallyshillyshallier, noun
Word Origin for shillyshally
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