shanghai

verb shang·hai \ ˈshaŋ-ˌhī , shaŋ-ˈhī \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of shanghai

shanghaied; shanghaiing
transitive verb
1 a : to put aboard a ship by force often with the help of liquor or a drug
b : to put by force or threat of force into or as if into a place of detention
2 : to put by trickery into an undesirable position

shanghaier

play \shaŋ-ˈhī(-ə)r, ˈshaŋ-ˌhī-\ noun

shanghai was our Word of the Day on 05/19/2012. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of shanghai from the Web

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

Shanghai, China; from the former use of this method to secure sailors for voyages to eastern Asia


Shanghai

geographical name Shang·hai \ shaŋ-ˈhī \

Definition of Shanghai

city and port on the Huangpu River near the estuary of the Chang (Yangtze) River in eastern China population 21,126,600
Note: Shanghai is China's most populous city.

SHANGHAI Defined for English Language Learners

shanghai

verb

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



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