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

Definition of shamus

1 slang : police officer

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Synonyms for shamus


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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

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Cite this Entry

“Shamus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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