shamus

noun
sha·​mus | \ ˈshä-məs How to pronounce shamus (audio) , ˈshā- \

Definition of shamus

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for shamus

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of shamus in a Sentence

a hard-bitten L.A. shamus who, when he's not battling crooks, is bedding chicks he's a sleazy shamus who mostly finds evidence to use in divorce cases
Recent Examples on the Web Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard was one in a long line of LA shamuses tripped up by wealth and beauty, from Marlowe and Gittes to Rawlins and Bosch. Wired, "Los Angeles, Blade Runner, and the Theory of Relativity," 1 Nov. 2019 With Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright back at the creative helm (and The Hollywood Reporter columnist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the writing staff), the season picks up with Veronica (Bell) still working as a shamus in her SoCal hometown of Neptune. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Veronica Mars' Season 4: TV Review," 15 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shamus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of shamus

1925, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for shamus

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shamus

Time Traveler for shamus

Time Traveler

The first known use of shamus was in 1925

See more words from the same year

Statistics for shamus

Cite this Entry

“Shamus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shamus. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on shamus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shamus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shamus

Comments on shamus

What made you want to look up shamus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!