shilly-shally

adverb
\ ˈshi-lē-ˌsha-lē How to pronounce shilly-shally (audio) \

Definition of shilly-shally

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: in an irresolute, undecided, or hesitating manner

shilly-shally

adjective

Definition of shilly-shally (Entry 2 of 4)

shilly-shally

verb
shilly-shallied; shilly-shallying

Definition of shilly-shally (Entry 3 of 4)

intransitive verb

1 : to show hesitation or lack of decisiveness or resolution
2 : dawdle

shilly-shally

noun

Definition of shilly-shally (Entry 4 of 4)

First Known Use of shilly-shally

Adverb

1700, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1734, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1754, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1755, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shilly-shally

Adverb

irregular reduplication of shall I

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Time Traveler for shilly-shally

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The first known use of shilly-shally was in 1700

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Cite this Entry

“Shilly-shally.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shilly-shally. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for shilly-shally

shilly-shally

verb

English Language Learners Definition of shilly-shally

informal + disapproving : to hesitate and take a long time to do or decide something

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