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shamus

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noun sha·mus \ˈshä-məs, ˈshā-\

Definition of shamus

  1. 1 slang :  police officer

  2. 2 slang :  private investigator



Examples of shamus

  1. <a hard-bitten L.A. shamus who, when he's not battling crooks, is bedding chicks>

  2. <he's a sleazy shamus who mostly finds evidence to use in divorce cases>



Origin of shamus

perhaps from Yiddish shames shammes; from a jocular comparison of the duties of a sexton and those of a store detective


First Known Use: 1925

Rhymes with shamus


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