shil·​le·​lagh | \ shə-ˈlā-lē How to pronounce shillelagh (audio) \
variants: or less commonly shillalah

Definition of shillelagh

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for shillelagh


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of shillelagh in a Sentence

the bartender in the Irish pub keeps a shillelagh behind the bar just in case there's trouble
Recent Examples on the Web So in a team meeting, Helton hit all the historical notes, even giving a tutorial on the shillelagh that goes to the winning team. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, "For USC’s Clay Helton, Notre Dame is ‘not just another game’," 11 Oct. 2019 McConnell is also giving conservatives a shillelagh with which to beat Republican moderates who fail to go along with repeal, and perhaps even to mount primary challenges against them in 2018 or beyond. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Who’s to Blame for the GOP Health Care Debacle, Trump or McConnell?," 19 July 2017

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

First Known Use of shillelagh

1772, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shillelagh

Shillelagh, town in Ireland

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shillelagh

Time Traveler for shillelagh

Time Traveler

The first known use of shillelagh was in 1772

See more words from the same year

Statistics for shillelagh

Cite this Entry

“Shillelagh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on shillelagh

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shillelagh

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shillelagh

Comments on shillelagh

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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