shanghai was our Word of the Day on 05/19/2012. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of shanghai from the Web
The idea of a summertime art festival has been shanghaied by the nonprofit Art Shanty Project.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shanghai.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In the 1800s, long sea voyages were very difficult and dangerous, so people were understandably hesitant to become sailors. But sea captains and shipping companies needed crews to sail their ships, so they gathered sailors any way they could - even if that meant resorting to kidnapping by physical force or with the help of liquor or drugs. The word shanghai comes from the name of the Chinese city of Shanghai. People started to use the city's name for that unscrupulous way of obtaining sailors because the East was often a destination of ships that had kidnapped men onboard as crew.
Origin and Etymology of shanghai
First Known Use: 1871See Words from the same year
SHANGHAI Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of shanghai for English Language Learners
: to bring (someone) onto a ship by force
: to make (someone) do something by using force or tricks
Seen and Heard
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