shin·​dig ˈshin-ˌdig How to pronounce shindig (audio)
: a social gathering with dancing
: a usually large or lavish party

Did you know?

At a glance, shindig appears to combine shin and dig, and thus might seem to suggest a painful kick to the leg—especially when you know that one of the first senses of shindig in English refers to a gathering at which people dance. It is more likely, however, that shindig is an alteration of shindy, which is itself the alteration of another word, shinny, used of a variation of hockey that is played with a curved stick and a ball or block of wood. It's not entirely clear how the game of shinny gave shindy its first meaning (the "social gathering with dancing" meaning that is also the original meaning of shindig) but shinny remains the most likely origin.

Examples of shindig in a Sentence

we're hosting a little shindig this weekend for some friends
Recent Examples on the Web The festival kicks off Thursday with a shindig at the Kill Devil Club. Bill Brownlee, Kansas City Star, 30 Jan. 2024 Panelist Nicole Scherzinger, along with Robin Thicke, correctly identified Candelabra as Keyshia Cole, after receiving a clue that the R&B artist partied with Scherzinger at an industry shindig. Kalia Richardson, Rolling Stone, 14 Dec. 2023 Go ahead and buy some red Solo cups and paper plates in bulk, in preparation for throwing the shindig of the year. Essence, 11 Dec. 2023 Already this year, there have been 78 applications for permits, which allow residents to block off roadways to vehicular traffic and arrange shindigs for their neighbors. Globe Staff,, 14 Sep. 2023 This year, though, most of my friends who would host such shindigs are either undergoing construction or have moved to new apartments and had to give up their outdoor space and grills. Ben Mims, Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2023 This shindig, while a nerdy one, has become a key focus of Wall Street investors, academics and the press. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, 25 Aug. 2023 Perhaps the ladies will get together for a big shindig to celebrate their friend? Korin Miller, Women's Health, 7 Aug. 2023 Canadian rapper Drake leads the field with seven nominations at the annual shindig. Los Angeles Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shindig.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably alteration of shindy

First Known Use

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of shindig was in 1842


Dictionary Entries Near shindig

Cite this Entry

“Shindig.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


shin·​dig ˈshin-ˌdig How to pronounce shindig (audio)
: a big fancy party
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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