shin·​dig | \ ˈshin-ˌdig How to pronounce shindig (audio) \

Definition of shindig

1a : a social gathering with dancing
b : a usually large or lavish party

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for shindig


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 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 In other sports news, the Clemson football team defeats Alabama to win the college national championship and is rewarded with an invite to the White House for a classy shindig. Dave Barry, Washington Post, "Dave Barry’s Year in Review 2019," 29 Dec. 2019 If the photos are anything to go by, the shindig was a lot of fun. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé and Blue Ivy Adorably Twin in Previously Unseen Photos," 21 Sep. 2019 Andrew McClintock’s Ever Gold Projects teamed up with Gagosian, Lobus and scene-maker Adam Swig for a Natoma Cabana shindig, attracting Millennial fans of Untitled, Art — an entire other fair coinciding with Fog. Catherine Bigelow,, "Fog Art + Design makes a scene in San Francisco," 24 Jan. 2020 The final shindig of awards season, the Oscars are the most coveted entertainment event of the year. Alexis Reliford,, "From The Red Carpet To Who’s Nominated, Here’s Your Guide To The 2020 Oscars," 20 Jan. 2020 While the tried-and-true night before party remains a go-to, future brides and grooms are now planning elaborate shindigs, or vacations, with photos perfectly crafted for the 'Gram. Christen A. Johnson,, "Chicago ranks 8th as best city for LGBTQ+ bachelor and bachelorette parties," 9 Dec. 2019 Halloween Horror Nights found its humble beginnings in Orlando as a three-day spooky shindig in 1991. Patrick Connolly,, "Universal: Halloween Horror Nights dates announced for 30th-anniversary event in 2020," 4 Nov. 2019 The source: To celebrate the second anniversary of McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, founder Nion McEvoy hosted a shindig at his Minnesota Street Project gallery space, accompanied by award-winning McEvoy Ranch vino and swinging surf music. Catherine Bigelow,, "SF’s beloved Penny Pitch raises cash for St. Anthony Foundation," 22 Oct. 2019 The 43rd annual event kicks off with a lively procession that includes three ginormous floats, followed by a free, family-friendly shindig that features traditional Indian music, dance and drama. Los Angeles Times, "6 Weekend Picks: Shakespeare’s ‘Pericles,’ American Contemporary Ballet and more," 2 Aug. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of shindig

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for shindig

probably alteration of shindy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shindig

Time Traveler for shindig

Time Traveler

The first known use of shindig was in 1842

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about shindig

Statistics for shindig

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shindig.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shindig


How to pronounce shindig (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shindig

informal : a big party

More from Merriam-Webster on shindig

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shindig

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shindig

Comments on shindig

What made you want to look up shindig? 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

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!