shamus

play
noun sha·mus \ˈshä-məs, ˈshā-\

Definition of shamus

  1. 1 slang :  police officer

  2. 2 slang :  private investigator

Examples of shamus in a sentence

  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 and Etymology 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



Seen and Heard

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

a rounded knoll or a ridge of ice

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ